The Molecular Biology and Genetics Core Laboratory has been in operation since the University of Chicago Diabetes Center was first funded in 1977 with minor changes in the name of the core but with a major emphasis on molecular biology and more recently genetics. This Core helps independently funded investigators who are interested in using molecular and genetic approaches in the study of diabetes and other metabolic diseases as well as diabetic complications. The growing demand for genetic services has resulted in this Core largely focusing on providing services directed towards genetic studies of diabetes including study design, power calculations, sample collection, genotyping and sequencing, and data analysis. The Core serves not only DRTC investigators but also diabetes investigators carrying out genetic studies of diabetes throughout the United States and internationally. The Core offers services as well as providing advice and hands-on training. In this competing renewal the focus will continue to be on genetic studies including genome-wide association study and design incorporating whole-exome and whole-genome sequencing approaches. We also propose to develop "diabetes-related databases" that will be accessible to all such as lists of mutations associated with monogenic forms of diabetes and variants with polygenic forms of diabetes. While the focus of this Core is primarily genetics, we are cognizant of the fact that genetic studies lead to biological studies. Thus, we propose to offer BAC recombineering as a new service for investigators studying the biology of diabetes genes in vivo and in vitro. Drs. Bell and Cox will continue to serve as Director and Co-Director of this Core. Dr. Marcelo Nobrega will join them as a Co-Director leading the BAC recombineering service. This group will be advised by leaders in the field of epidemiology (Hanis and Ober), genetic analysis (Abney, Di Rienzo, Nicolae, Pritchard and Stephens), biostatistics (Nicolae and Stephens), computation (grid and cloud computing - Foster and Grossman) and genomics and systems biology (White) to ensure that Core services are at the forefront of genetic and genomic studies of complex diseases and quickly adapts to users needs.
The Molecular Biology and Genetics Core provides services, advice and hands-on training for genetic studies of diabetes, and molecular and cell biological studies of diabetes genes. These services and studies will provide a better understanding of the causes of diabetes and new approaches for prevention and treatment.
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