The focus for the George M. O'Brien Kidney Centers has been basic science investigation that has very successfully defined kidney structure, function and disease mechanisms. New technologies now provide opportunities to translate these remarkable basic science advances to the clinic in ways not previously imaginable. Advances in identification of genetic susceptibilities as well as the advent of the genome project and systems biology technologies set the stage for development of molecular maps that can be superimposed on traditional pathologic and functional descriptors so as to define diseases in a new way. These developments have important implications for definition of molecular markers that will allow accurate individualized prediction of outcome and response to therapy, and the identification of key pathways for therapeutic attack. The University of Michigan has developed and recruited expertise to help exploit these opportunities for people with kidney diseases. The realization of these opportunities requires collaborations between investigators world-wide for the collection of samples from well characterized individuals and populations, the application of technologies that facilitate information availability and exchange, the development and maintenance of databanks, and the integration of these technologies between human diseases, animals models, cellular systems and molecular signaling so as to define key pathways driving renal disease processes. Towards these goals the O'Brien Kidney Research Core Center at the University of Michigan will support four Cores: A. An Applied Systems Biology Core that has developed the platforms and infrastructure necessary to serve the integrative functions outlined above; B. A Clinical Phenotyping and Biobank Core that will collect the biosamples from affected characterized individuals; and C. An Applied Genetics Core that will perform mutational analysis for genotype/phenotype matching; D. A Basic Research Enhancement Core that will facilitate basic science development, integration and translation. These cores together with the Pilot and Feasibility Projects and Educational Enhancement Program in the Administrative Core will coordinate the grant, utilize the Cores and attract and support new talent into kidney research. The University of Michigan will provide $1,000,000 in supplemental support for the Center.
The aim i s to develop a structure which will serve local and national kidney investigators and the kidney community at large. Using web based tools, we will provide the basis for new understanding of disease-specific molecular pathology that can be used by every kidney investigator in the public and private sector world-wide.
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