Institute for Genome Sciences
Director: Claire M. Fraser-Liggett, PhD
Professor, Department of Medicine
The mission of the Institute for Genome Sciences is to understand gene and genome function in health and disease. To this end we use large-scale experimental and computational tools, which also generates data and resources that are of value to the general scientific community.
Created in mid-2007, the Institute has more than 45 employees, including a team of 14 faculty with primary appointments in one of four departments: Microbiology and Immunology, Medicine, Epidemiology & Preventive Medicine or Biochemistry. IGS is currently housed in multiple sites within the HSH-I and HSF-II buildings on the University of Maryland School of Medicine campus. It is expected that the Institute will relocate to BioPark-II in late 2008.
The scientific team at IGS is inter-disciplinary in nature and is comprised of international experts in microbiology, molecular biology, parasitology, plant biology, technology development, informatics, computer science, and mathematics. IGS investigators have been involved in the development and deployment of cutting-edge methods that have been used to decipher the genome sequences of hundreds of organisms across the Tree of Life, including the first bacterial, archaeal, parasite and plant species.
Two resource centers underpin IGS activities. The Genomics Resource Center (GRC) functions as a high-throughput core laboratory supporting the scientific programs of the Institute and external collaborators utilizing state-of-the-art technologies to generate high quality genome scale data in a cost-effective manner. The Informatics Resource Center (IRC) provides bioinformatics resources to the GRC and Faculty research activities, and is dependent on a custom-built and dedicated computational infra-structure. This organizational structure facilitates interaction among IGS scientists and fosters collaborations with outside investigators. Embedded in all of the IGS activities is a commitment to educating the next generation of scientists and physicians - as well as established investigators in the field of genome science - through courses, workshops and hands-on training.
IGS provides an unprecedented opportunity to enhance the genomics expertise on the University of Maryland Baltimore campus and to serve as a catalyst for new collaborations in other areas of research that will benefit from the application of large-scale approaches such as cancer biology, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal disorders, pediatric diseases, a better understanding of the world's most deadly infectious diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, and diarrheal diseases, as well as the emergence of novel pathogens.