Duke Health establishes center for genomics engineering technologies

Jackie Drees - Print  | 

Durham, N.C.-based Duke University and Duke Health announced Sept. 30 the launch of their new center to develop technologies for researching the human genome's connection with common diseases.

The Duke Center for Advanced Genomic Technologies will investigate and re-engineer cellular gene regulation machinery and networks to help discover new drug targets and gene therapies to fight diseases including neurodegenerative, autoimmune, cardiovascular disorders and predisposition to cancer.

While CAGT will focus its research efforts on the human genome, the center aims to specifically address the so-called "dark genome," which is a vast and largely unexplored area of non-protein-coding DNA believed to harness information to treat complex disorders such as cancer and neurological disease. The dark genome holds genetic regulators responsible for more than 90 percent of susceptibility to common diseases, according to the news release.

CAGT will focus its research efforts on five key areas: genome structure and function, gene regulation, epigenomics of disease, genomics of drug response and genome engineering technologies.

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