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USC's Keck School Lands $10M Gift for Epigenomics Center

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The University of Southern California said yesterday that its Keck School of Medicine has received a $10 million donation to build its planned Epigenome Center, which it expects to open in January 2008.
USC said that the gift from the Kenneth T. & Eileen Norris Foundation will be used to buy equipment, entice new staff, and position the center to land more funding from the National Institutes of Health, which identified epigenomics as one of several new priority areas under its Roadmap initiative earlier this year.
The center will focus on epigenomics sequencing and the role of epigenetics in disease treatment and prevention. Cancer research will be a point of emphasis.
"We shall now be able to use high-throughput techniques to sequence entire epigenomes for the first time. Such approaches would have been unthinkable even a short while ago," said Peter Jones, director of the USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.
USC said the Epigenome Center will be located in the Norris Cancer Research Tower, which is a recently-opened 172,440 square foot building at USC's Health Sciences Campus.
Peter Laird, a lead researcher and associate professor of surgery, biochemistry and molecular biology, has been named director of the Epigenome Center.