The Genetics Program (GN) is committed to fostering intra- and inter-programmatic and collaborative innovative studies that focus on functional genomics. The overall goal of the GN Program is to identify and characterize genetic and genomic changes that drive and/or predict cancer initiation, progression or therapeutic response, thus developing new therapeutic targets. Historically, much of the focus in this Program has been in basic research and discovery;more recently the goal has been broadened to encourage involvement by Program members in translational and clinical studies. The Program's central themes are 1) Cancer Gene, Signatures and Pathway Discovery;2) Epigenetics and Genomic Instability, and 3) Mouse Models of Cancer. The program is led by Irwin Gelman. PhD, who has strong interests in basic and translational aspects of cancer genetics. The GN Program has longstanding strength in basic cancer genetic discovery and functional genomics research. Dr. Gelman's leadership in translating this to new drug/pathway targets and predictive genetic tests has been facilitated by robust inter- and intra-programmatic collaborations, monthly meetings and twice-yearly retreats that emphasize interaction with clinicians, population scientists and translational researchers. Innovative new projects are promoted by the establishment of cutting-edge genetic screening, sequencing and bioinformatics platforms, and by GN-led projects that emphasize highly collaborative studies that will yield new grants and/or high-impact publications. Program members have published 321 publications since 2008;20% were inter-programmatic and 19% were intra-programmatic;22 publications were in journals with an impact factor >10. Current annual total peer-reviewed funding is $7.9M, of which $3.8M is NCI, and the total extramural research funding is $9.2M. The GN Program has 24 members with expertise in mouse models of cancer, molecular analysis of human cancer, genetics and pathways controlling metastasis, epigenomics, bioinformatics and molecular pathology, all of which are fully integrated into the themes within the Program. The Program members come from seven departments at RPCI.
Leadership has reestablished focus on programmatic collaboration to promote translational genetic and genomic research through interactions between basic scientists and clinical investigators. The GN Program bridges cutting-edge genomics and bioinformatics expertise, carefully developed tissue banks and medical informatics, to drive development of team-science approaches to hypothesis-driven research.
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