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The next frontier in the genome sciences will be developing technology that captures novel quantitative biological measurements ... more about genomics
The Penn Genome Frontiers Institute, previously known as the Penn Genomics Institute, was established in January 2001 to provide a focus for all aspects of and participants in the Penn genomics community. Since its founding, PGFI has worked throughout the Penn community to promote genomics. PGFI has provided access to genomics technologies; assisted in the recruitment of an expanded genomics-related faculty; supported the research and service capabilities of bioinfomatics and computations biology at the Penn Center for Bioinformatics (PCBI); expanded genomics cores and research in Schools and Departments at both undergraduate and graduate levels; and funded interdisciplinary seed grants to aid genomics research.
PGFI has expanded its scientific interactions to include not only key Penn Schools and Departments but collaborations and scientific exchange with the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and The Wistar Institute. As it expands, the mission of PGFI will include major efforts in quantitating and interpreting live cell genomics.
In 2003, PGFI initiated its Pilot Grant Program, designed to provide financial support for initiatives in cutting-edge technology and in pilot programs that can be used for extramural applications in genome sciences. The requests for application are announced twice a year, and then reviewed by a faculty committee with expertise in genomics and computational biology. To date, funded applications have covered a full spectrum of topics, from computational biology to functional genomics. In addition, over a dozen papers have been published and as many grant proposals have been made as a direct result of the PGFI Pilot Grant Program. PGFI has also supported and contributed seed funds to a limited number of large genomics and bioinformatics grants. In the past few years, there was a successful Bioinformatics Resource Center (BRC) proposal through NIH-NIAID, and a funded proposal for the development of a NIH National Computational Biology Center (NCBC) proposal.
The influence of PGFI has been felt in the development of additional educational opportunities throughout Penn. The departments of Biology, Computer Science and Mathematics have instituted concentrations in Computational and Mathematical Biology for undergraduates. Students interested in Masters-level work in the broad area of Genomics/Computational Biology can take the Bioinformatics track in the Masters in Biotechnology program. In addition, PGFI has encouraged the development of four graduate level courses for students in the Genomics and Computational Biology (GCB) Graduate Group; graduate students in this group are located in PCBi during their first 18 months, before moving to their respective thesis labs.
An undergraduate summer research program was recently implemented at PGFI; the program provides a stipend for selected undergraduates to immerse themselves in didactic lectures on bioinformatics and RNA biology, while doing research with PGFI faculty mentors. The PGFI also supports a graduate student award that provides a four-year stipend supplement to incoming students of the highest caliber, who intend to pursue genomics research at Penn.
The Spring 2013 newsletter can be viewed here.
Educational Facility Professional Development Workshops can be applied for here.
Interested in helping with genomics outreach? Add your name to our pool of volunteers and willing speakers/experts.
Based at the University of Pennsylvania, Penn Genome Frontiers Institute (PGFI) is a university-wide institute dedicated to the advancement of the interdisciplinary field of genomics research. PGFI fosters collaborations and scientific exchange across biology, veterinary medicine, pharmacology, medicine, genetics, microbiology, engineering, physics, chemistry and psychology. Our mission...