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Genomics, Metabolomics, Proteomics, Pharmacogenomicsborder

Proteomics, metabolomics, lipidomics, and other Omics disciplines are changing Discovery and Life Sciences research. LC/MS studies continue to catalyze profound changes in our understanding of biology. It's no longer possible to fully understand biological systems by studying their parts; now systems biology has merged these once disparate data streams to gain a holistic understanding of complex organisms and disease states — and the opportunity to design broad-spectrum or targeted therapies.

The convergence of Omics

Whether it's top-down or bottom-up analyses; targeted or untargeted studies; structural work to identify and confirm metabolites; or spatial localization of metabolites in biological tissues, Waters state-of-the-art LC, MS, and informatics solutions tie together systems, information, and scientists to help you uncover insights earlier than ever before.

Genomics is a discipline in genetics that applies recombinant DNA, DNA sequencing methods, and bioinformatics to sequence, assemble, and analyze the function and structure of genomes (the complete set of DNA within a single cell of an organism. The field includes efforts to determine the entire DNA sequence of organisms and fine-scale genetic mapping. The field also includes studies of intragenomic phenomena such as heterosis, epistasis, pleiotropy and other interactions between loci and alleles and within the genome. In contrast, the investigation of the roles and functions of single genes is a primary focus of molecular biology or genetics and is a common topic of modern medical and biological research. Research of single genes does not fall into the definition of genomics unless the aim of this genetic, pathway, and functional information analysis is to elucidate its effect on, place in, and response to the entire genome's networks.

Metabolomics is the scientific study of chemical processes involving metabolites. Specifically, metabolomics is the "systematic study of the unique chemical fingerprints that specific cellular processes leave behind", the study of their small-molecule metabolite profiles. The metabolome represents the collection of all metabolites in a biological cell, tissue, organ or organism, which are the end products of cellular processes. Thus, while mRNA gene expression data and preteomic analyses do not tell the whole story of what might be happening in a cell, metabolic profiling can give an instantaneous snapshot of the physiology of that cell. One of the challenges of systems biology and functional genomics is to integrate preteomic, transcriptomic, and metabolomic information to give a more complete picture of living organisms.

Proteomics is the large-scale study of proteins, particularly their structures and functions. Proteins are vital parts of living organisms, as they are the main components of the physiological metabolic pathways of cells. The term proteomics was first coined in 1997 to make an analogy with genomics, the study of the genome. The proteome is the entire set of proteins, produced or modified by an organism or system. This varies with time and distinct requirements, or stresses, that a cell or organism undergoes. Proteomics is an interdisciplinary domain formed on the basis of the research and development of the Human Genome Project. It is also emerging scientific research and exploration of proteomes from the overall level of intracellular protein composition, structure, and its own unique activity patterns. It is an important component of functional genomics. While proteomics generally refers to the large-scale experimental analysis of proteins, it is often specifically used for protein purification and mass spectrometry.

Pharmacogenomics (a portmanteau of pharmacology and genomics) is the technology that analyses how genetic makeup affects an individual's response to drugs. It deals with the influence of genetic variation on drug response in patients by correlating gene expression or single-nucleotide polymorphisms with a drug's efficacy or toxicity. By doing so, pharmacogenomics aims to develop rational means to optimize drug therapy, with respect to the patients' genotype, to ensure maximum efficacy with minimal adverse effects. Such approaches promise the advent of "personalized medicine"; in which drugs and drug combinations are optimized for each individual's unique genetic makeup.

The last decades have witnessed a rapidly increasing prevalence of chronic and severe diseases, such as diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases, which have devastating health and economic consequences and are the most challenging contemporary threats to public health. The populations of the Middle East countries are particularly affected with such illnesses and obesity-related maladies have reached alarming proportions. This situation calls for urgent preventive, early detection strategies and effective therapies.

The Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI) was established to tackle these diseases with a special focus on developing translational biomedical research and biotechnology. QBRI currently consists of two research centers and five research laboratories: Applied Stem Cell Research Center, Genomic Medicine Research Center, Cancer Research Laboratory, Applied Diabetes Research Laboratory, Biomedical Engineering Research Laboratory, Translational Systems Biology Research Laboratory, and Gene Therapy Research Laboratory. The ultimate goal is to contribute to the delivery of personalized medicine through the discovery of new drugs, new biomarkers, new gene therapies and new applications for stem-cell research.

The Virtual Metabolomics Core assists investigators in using metabolomics for their research. This core has no instrumentation of its own (hence "virtual"), but it provides assistance in how and where to obtain fee-for-service metabolomics measurements that are best suited for your project. This core is run by Karsten Suhre Lab and makes use of established contacts and past experience from collaborations with different fee-for-service metabolomics providers, such as Biocrates, Chenomx, Lipfit and Metabolon. Moreover, services from the Helmholtz Center Munich (HMGU) Metabolomics Core can be obtained within the framework of a research collaboration agreement between WCMC-Q and HMGU.