Integrating Multiple Disciplines: The Ability to Fully Characterize Cell Function

The NMC partnership is building the core technical capability to analyze genomic, phenomic, transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic information to form a complete picture of the cell functions of plants and humans. Advances in technology allow us to integrate all of these disciplines in one laboratory. The collective expertise of the NMC partnership in the relevant scientific disciplines function sets us apart in this highly inter-disciplinary field. The NMC is uniquely positioned to deliver integrated multi-discipline expertise and exponentially increase our understanding of cell function.

  • Genomics is a discipline in genetics that applies DNA sequencing methods and bioinformatics to assemble and analyze the function and structure of the complete set of DNA of an organism.
  • Phenomics is an area of biology concerned with measuring the physical and biochemical traits of organisms as they change in response to genetic mutation and environmental influences. Examples include measuring carbohydrate and protein levels, rates of photosynthesis and respiration, and chlorophyll fluorescence kinetics.
  • Transcriptomics measures expression of mRNA. mRNA expression reveals what genes are being actively expressed at any given time in various tissues and how expression patterns vary with external environmental conditions.
  • Proteomics is the large scale study of proteins, their structure, function and dynamics. Proteins are the main component of the physiological metabolic pathways of cells and are vital parts of living organisms.
  • Metabolomics is the study of the unique chemical fingerprints of cellular metabolism.  By analyzing the pool sizes and flux of cellular metabolites at a given moment in time, metabolic profiling provides an instantaneous snapshot of the physiology of the cell.

The scale and speed at which this type of research can now be performed is unprecedented and opens doors for major advances in systems biology in the next 10 years.  NMC’s plant biology and biomedical technology initiatives are uniquely poised at the frontier of a fertile research area with a tremendous potential return.


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