Computational Approaches to Functional and Integrative Genomics

A central problem in bioinformatics is the analysis of genomic information, leading up to the entire human genome. Research in whole genome analyses include finding genes and pseudogenes, assigning protein structures and functions to known genes, and comparing genomes in terms of a wide variety of features. Closely tied to this work is the development of computational approaches for comparing and characterizing sequences and predicting structure and function (e.g. identifying membrane proteins) from sequence. A major new development is the advent of functional genomics information with standardized experimental information over the entire genome. For example, one of the major types of functional information is genome-wide gene expression data. All members of the Track faculty are interested in the general problem of achieving an integrative and systems understanding of the whole genome.

Yale has a diverse set of activites in the areas of genomics and proteomics that are relevant to computational biology and bioinformatics. The genomes and proteomes of a wide variety of organisms are currently being studied: these include yeasts, flies, mice, worms, viruses, humans, and plants. In addition, Yale has in place a Center of Excellence in Genomic Science. Students also have access to a variety of state-of-the-art technologies. These include DNA microarrays, transposon tagging, gene and disease locus mapping, and many large scale technologies that were first developed at Yale, including in situ hybridization, rolling circle amplification, protein microarrays (the first proteome chip), and large-scale protein localization strategies. Core facilities containing state-of-the-art equipment are available for students to obtain hands-on experience with many important technologies.