Grant Creates Center of Excellence in Genome Science

A five-year, $10.5 million Center of Excellence in Genome Science award, supported jointly by the National Human Genome Research Institute and the National Institute of Mental Health, will fund the creation of the Center for Sub-Cellular Genomics (CSG). The CSG’s mission is to develop new technologies to enable the dissection of complex chemical interactions within a single cell. Jonathan Sweedler, professor of chemistry and member of the Beckman Institute’s Cellular and Molecular Foundations of Intelligent Behavior Group, is co-investigator on the award.

The Sweedler Laboratory at the Beckman Institute will create unique sub-cellular resolution mass spectrometry as part of a project led by the University of Pennsylvania. While the DNA and RNA measurements being created at Penn provide information on the potential of a cell (or a cellular organelle), the ability of mass spectrometry to measure the actual molecular players present in a subsection of a cell enable a unique glimpse into chemical heterogeneity. In this age of personalized medicine, the ability to assess the parts list of individual cells and their subcellular structures will provide the ultimate in patient specific therapeutics by facilitating patient selective and cell specific drug targeting.  

Junhyong Kim, Ph.D., Chair and Patricia M. Williams Professor of Biology in the School of Arts and Sciences at University of Pennsylvania, and James Eberwine, Ph.D., Elmer Holmes Bobst Professor of Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics in the Perelman School of Medicine at University of Pennsylvania, are co-PIs on the project. More about the center can be found here:  http://csg.sas.upenn.edu/