We are working to develop systems biology and medicine to understand complex biological systems through a functional genomics approach. High throughput technology and novel algorithms are required for collecting, integrating and visualizing the enormous amount of data on gene expression, protein expression, and protein interactions arising in the wake of the Human Genome Project. Alliance with outside academics and industries will be crucial to the success of the new “systems biology”, i.e., understanding biological systems as more than the sum of their parts. 1. Variety of genetic and epigenetic alterations that accumulate in cancer genomes cause activation of oncogenes and inactivation of tumor suppressor genes, and lead to cellular transformation. Next generation sequencing technology has enabled us to obtain individual genomic information at a single cell resolution. Since 2008, my group has participated in International Cancer Genome Consortium and is studying the genomic alterations in various cancers. 2. Epigenetic processes are essential for packaging and interpreting the genome, are fundamental to normal development and cell differentiation, and are increasingly recognized as being involved in human disease. Epigenetic mechanisms, which include histone modification, positioning of histone variants, nucleosome remodeling, DNA methylation and non-coding RNAs, are considered as ‘cellular memory’. We have applied genomic technologies, such as ChIP-sequencing, to understand these epigenetic marks and to elucidate how these marks regulate the chromatin regulation. 3. Functional genomic approaches are applied to identify novel biomarkers for disease diagnostics and therapeutics, such as cancer panel testing.
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