August 12, 2015
MD Anderson will be site of Genome Characterization Center
BY Ron Gilmore
MD Anderson Cancer Center has been named a site for one of two new Genome Characterization Centers (GCC) funded through the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
The centers are responsible for characterizing the molecular changes found in cancer tumors studied as part of multiple ongoing programs through the NCI.
The MD Anderson center will focus on functional proteomics, the large-scale study of proteins at the functional level, such as protein expression and modification. It will be led by Gordon Mills, M.D., Ph.D., chair of Systems Biology, and Rehan Akbani, Ph.D., assistant professor of Bioinformatics & Computational Biology.
“The MD Anderson GCC will perform extensive genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic analysis of patients’ samples collected through multiple programs at NCI,” said J.C. Zenklusen, Ph.D., director of the NCI’s The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) program. “It will support important NCI initiatives such as the Exceptional Responders Initiative, the ALCHEMIST precision medicine trials, and the Cancer Driver Discovery Project.”
“MD Anderson has been at the forefront of proteomic investigation and it is an honor to be selected as a site for this notable center,” said Ethan Dmitrovsky, M.D., provost and executive vice president.
Mills believes the efforts could “encompass as many as 25,000 patient samples.”
“This will provide an incredible information trove linked to high-quality patient outcomes data, genomic, epigenomic and proteomic data. It’s a great example of how working together can yield important clinical understanding.”
The other Genome Characterization Center is based at the Broad Institute in Boston.