NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Georgetown University Medical Center and Oak Ridge National Laboratory have formalized their joint research relationship through a new five-year cooperative research and development agreement, GUMC said Thursday.
The agreement between GUMC and ORNL, which is a US Department of Energy lab focused on advanced sciences, including structural biology, covers research programs including biomarker studies, systems genetics, computational biology, and other areas.
“ORNL brings to the table supercomputing capabilities that will allow us to analyze, manage, and visualize complex molecular data that is collected at Georgetown,” GUMC Executive VP for Health Sciences and Dean of the School of Medicine Howard Federoff said in a statement. “This collaboration brings us one step closer to being able to employ a systems-level approach to health and medicine and improve human health,” Federoff said.
Several studies are already ongoing under the collaboration. One involves using ORNL’s computing capabilities to use atmospheric pressure surface sampling and ionization methods along with mass spectrometry to probe paraffin-embedded tissue to map biomarker metabolites in tumor samples.
Another project involves studying genetic and mechanistic interactions between adverse responses to stress and risk for obesity, and it will incorporate genotype data to identify components of the interactions in order to develop personalized therapeutic targets.
Yet another study will involve using a membrane developed by ORNL to help develop technology to detect early metastatic spread of cancer using circulating tumor cells in the patient’s blood.