Children's Memorial, TGen announce partnership

March 12, 2004

CHICAGO -- Children's Memorial Institute for Education and Research and The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), of Phoenix, Ariz., today announced a partnership aimed at conducting cutting-edge genomic research into childhood illnesses and better defining their relationship to adult diseases.

The agreement partners TGen's computational and genomics technology -- ranked among the most powerful in the world -- and scientific expertise with one of the leading children's medical research institutes in the country. It also pairs organizations run by two internationally renowned researchers in the area of cancer genomics.

"This partnership will enable us to build a world-class genomics program that will profoundly impact human health and accelerate the rate of discovery into the molecular components of childhood diseases," said Mary J.C. Hendrix, Ph.D., president and scientific director for the Chicago-based Children's Memorial Institute for Education and Research, and professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine.

Hendrix said the two institutes would conduct critical research on a broad spectrum of problems, including brain disorders such as schizophrenia, behavioral disorders, autism, multiple sclerosis, cancer, developmental defects, and autoimmune diseases. Employing the latest in DNA microarray technology, research will focus on detecting genetic markers, and finding ways to move discoveries from the laboratory into the clinical setting as soon as possible.

"Our collaboration with Children's Memorial further strengthens TGen's mission to advance research in an expedited manner. The sequence of the human genome has fueled a rapid increase in gene discovery and gene analysis and our work with Children's Memorial will hopefully answer a number of questions surrounding childhood disease," said Jeffrey Trent, Ph.D., TGen's president and scientific director.

Genomics is the study and interpretation of genomes, or gene sequences, and their function. Progress in the last decade has allowed scientists to examine the genes that are expressed or suppressed in cells and compare the differences between normal cells and those that contribute to disease. TGen provides Children's Memorial's researchers access to a range of genomic, genetic and proteomic technologies, bioinformatics, high-throughput sequencing, and gene expression profiling capabilities.

"Our partnership with TGen recognizes the critical role that science and technology play in unraveling the genetic components of common and complex children's diseases, which could be translated to the early detection and management of related adult diseases," Hendrix said. "Our hope is to provide new methods of diagnosis and treatment, leading to individualized medicine for patients."

Hendrix, who took over the reins at Children's Memorial's research institute in January, is an internationally respected cancer researcher whose work includes the molecular classification of aggressive tumor cells, which has led to the discovery of their embryonic-like properties, called plasticity -- a major insight into the basic mechanisms underlying cancer progression.

Before founding TGen in 2002, Trent served for 10 years at the world's largest biomedical research institute -- the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. There, he founded and directed the laboratory division of the federal agency in charge of coordinating and finalizing the Human Genome Project. His research focuses on genetic changes that increase one's risk for developing cancer.

Children's Memorial Institute for Education and Research is one of 13 interdisciplinary research centers and institutes of Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, and all principal investigators at the institute are full-time faculty members at Feinberg. The institute is the research arm of Children's Memorial Medical Center.

TGen's mission is to make and translate genomic discoveries into advances in human health. "Translational genomics research" is a relatively new field employing innovative advances arising from the Human Genome Project to apply them to the development of diagnostics, prognostics and therapies for cancer, neurological disorders, diabetes and other complex diseases.

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago

Related Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

New blood cancer treatment works by selectively interfering with cancer cell signalling
University of Alberta scientists have identified the mechanism of action behind a new type of precision cancer drug for blood cancers that is set for human trials, according to research published in Nature Communications.

UCI researchers uncover cancer cell vulnerabilities; may lead to better cancer therapies
A new University of California, Irvine-led study reveals a protein responsible for genetic changes resulting in a variety of cancers, may also be the key to more effective, targeted cancer therapy.

Breast cancer treatment costs highest among young women with metastic cancer
In a fight for their lives, young women, age 18-44, spend double the amount of older women to survive metastatic breast cancer, according to a large statewide study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cancer mortality continues steady decline, driven by progress against lung cancer
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.

Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers identify one way T cell function may fail in cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a mechanism by which one type of immune cell, CD8+ T cells, can become dysfunctional, impeding its ability to seek and kill cancer cells.

More cancer survivors, fewer cancer specialists point to challenge in meeting care needs
An aging population, a growing number of cancer survivors, and a projected shortage of cancer care providers will result in a challenge in delivering the care for cancer survivors in the United States if systemic changes are not made.

New cancer vaccine platform a potential tool for efficacious targeted cancer therapy
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a solution in the form of a cancer vaccine platform for improving the efficacy of oncolytic viruses used in cancer treatment.

American Cancer Society outlines blueprint for cancer control in the 21st century
The American Cancer Society is outlining its vision for cancer control in the decades ahead in a series of articles that forms the basis of a national cancer control plan.

Read More: Cancer News and Cancer Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to