Systems Biology of Immune Cells at the Genomic Level
Aly Azeem Khan, IGSB/CBC Postdoctoral Fellow in the Institute for Genomics and Systems Biology, co-authored with collaborators at Genentech, Washington University, New York University, MD Anderson Cancer Center, and the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, a new study published online in advance of print in Science Magazine. The report identifies a novel genomic regulatory element that guides the assembly of IRF4 and BATF complexes in T cells, and investigates the functional implication of these interactions. IRF4 plays a critical role in T cell differentiation (among other cells) and in regulating the immune response. Until now, it remained unsolved how IRF4 was recruited to target genes in T cells. The discovery of the interacting partner and corresponding genomic regulatory element ends an intense hunt that has been under way for years.
Two major gifts will build momentum behind the University of Chicago’s leadership in biomedical computation by assembling experts in the field and furnishing them with the tools to use “big data” to understand and treat disease. Kevin White and Robert Grossman will lead the Pancreatic Cancer Genomic Medicine Initiative, which aims to improve care for patients with this disease using genomic and physiological data.
Barbara Stranger and colleagues take a systems approach, integrating GWAS, eQTL and protein interaction data, to demonstrate that loci associated with inflammatory disease susceptibility are enriched for genomic signatures of recent evolutionary selection. Their analyses suggest that natural selection for pathogen-defense mechanisms through human evolution may underlie modern susceptibility to inflammatory diseases.
The annual list, published by Federal Computer Week, recognizes government, industry and academic leaders who have played pivotal roles in the federal government IT community.
In response to the community-wide interest in High Throughput Screening, the Chicago Biomedical Consortium is offering a 1:1 HTS Matching Grant Program to help fund innovative small molecule discovery. The intent of this program is to support pilot projects involving bio medically-relevant targets using a HTS facility located at one of the CBC universities, including the IGSB’s Cellular Screening Center.
By mapping the bindings sites of nuclear receptors, chromatin state markers and transcription factors associated with breast cancer, IGSB Director Kevin White and colleagues construct a network representing different types of regulatory relationships. Their analyses identifies transcriptions factors with previously unsuspected roles in breast cancer and enables predictions of responses to therapy.