To pursue its mission of advancing understanding of the genetic basis of cancer risk and tumor progression and further to apply this knowledge to cancer prevention, early detection and therapy, the Genetic and Epigenetic Mechanisms (GEM) Program's research goals are organized into three broad themes:
- To overcome important limitations in current technology, the genomic technology theme aims to develop new systems for genome analysis, proteomics and DNA/protein interactions. For example, developments in single molecule analysis are providing an unprecedented view of genomic changes associated with cancer progression and drug resistance.
- Data generated by genome-scale cancer studies present problems in basic data analysis, data integration and predictive modeling. Solving these problems is the goal of the cancer computing theme. Predictive modeling efforts are being used to improve mammography screening, for example, and to plan treatment strategies for ovarian cancer patients, while extensive research into genomic data integration and analysis facilitates many ongoing projects throughout UWCCC.
- The experimental genetics/genomics theme seeks to advance the understanding of the functional role of cancer-relevant genomic elements through experimental approaches, using model systems and advanced approaches to genetics, epigenetics and comparative genomics.