Welcome to the W. Harry Feinstone Center for Genomic Research. These are exciting
times at the University of Memphis. Celebrating 100 years in 2012, the University
of Memphis has become one of America’s great metropolitan universities attracting
the brightest, most motivated scientist and researchers to the Memphis area. Today
the University continues develop and strengthen research activities in the areas of
science, mathematics and engineering offering support of the biotechnology industry
and world class biomedical research institutions of this city. Thanks in part to the
university commitment to research, coupled with the imagination and financial support
of one of community’s strongest scientific leaders, Dr. W. Harry Feinstone, has provided
a broad technological based umbrella under which to further strengthen the research
enterprise of the university.
The purpose of the center is to foster research and graduate education in the area
of genomic research, particularly functional genomics, providing a focal point for
these activities within the University of Memphis and the Memphis scientific community.
Now that the complete genome sequences of humans, mice and several additional model
organisms have been determined, a shift in emphasis is occurring from the physical
and chemical structure of the genome to the biological function of the information
encoded by the genome. Functional genomics involves the study global genome-wide or
“system-wide” function. Currently, a major focus of this research is to define the
influence of both genetic and environmental factors on gene expression, towards the
goal of understanding the anatomy of the genome and the functions associated with
sets of genetic information.
A number of emerging technologies such as high density gene microarrays (genechips)
and high throughput Next Generation sequencing (NGS) have revolutionized the way we define public health problems and characterize basic
biological processes by making it possible for the simultaneous monitoring of thousands
of parameters at the level of the gene and its products. These new technologies are
helping scientists to redefine infectious and chronic diseases, aging and responses
to environmental pollutants and drugs, in terms of complex integrated pathways. These
same technologies are providing rapid advances in the areas of agriculture and bioremediation.
In the past fourteen years the W. Harry Feinstone Center for Genomic Research has
evolved into a major research and educational center within both the University of
Memphis and Memphis City community. The center fosters education and training for
a number of graduate and post-graduate students. With the inception of the Bioinformatics
program (an emerging interdisciplinary field) and numerous publications, under the leadership of Thomas R. Sutter (director), what started as a W. Harry Feinstone vision is now a thieving and comprehensive genomic
research and educational facility. The center has become “a stepping stone” for high-tech
equipment, collaborative research and continuous feedback into the University and
Scientific communities as whole (Thomas R. Sutter).