Healthcare Technology Featured Article

December 04, 2012

UConn Plans Genomics Institute in Anticipation of Jackson Laboratory Opening at University's Healthcare Center

The University of Connecticut is setting up an Institute for Systems Genomics in anticipation of the planned opening of The Jackson Laboratory at UConn’s healthcare center.

"The Institute for Systems Genomics is the vehicle to foster collaboration between UConn and The Jackson Laboratory in genomics research and education," Marc Lalande, the institute’s new director, explained in a university statement. “This institute gives the University of Connecticut another wonderful opportunity to become internationally prominent in the field of genomics, a discipline that is being recognized more and more for its importance in clinical medicine.”

Jackson Laboratory is building a $1.1-billion genomics center at the UConn Health Center in Farmington.

The institute will bring together professors from the university with researchers from Jackson. It will also partner with related corporations. Among the topics to be studied are: human, animal and environmental genomics, according to a report from

The institute, working along with Jackson Laboratory, will lead to a “world-class research and training program in genomics and personalized medicine,” according to a university statement.

“The Institute for Systems Genomics at the University of Connecticut will provide the intellectual critical mass needed to propel The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine to the front of the pack,” Edison Liu, CEO for The Jackson Laboratory, predicted in the university statement.

Genomics looks at an organism’s genes, resulting in diagnosis, treatment or cure. It leads to “personalized medicine” for patients.

To help the program, UConn recently received a $9.3-million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to investigate the human genome relationship to good health and disease.

The university is also in the process of recruiting relevant faculty to do research and teach in the genomics field.

There are other U.S. programs in the field as well. A new molecular medicine institute in Phoenix, Ariz., for example, focuses on life-threatening diseases in children. Among the physician-scientists involved in the program are those from Children's Hospital Los Angeles and Johns Hopkins, as well as researchers from the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and the University of Arizona's College of Medicine, HealthTechZone reported.

Edited by Braden Becker

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