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Norbert Weiner

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General Hospital


Genetix machineThe human genome is the total set of genes carried by an individual. Genomics — the scientific study of the genome — plays a major role in the Inflammation and the Host Response to Injury program because of the significant influence that genetic factors have on human characteristics, including the body’s response to injury and burns. Functional genomics refers to the use of experimental approaches to study gene function systematically (genome-wide). These tools include DNA microarrays, “chips” that can measure and compare relative levels of mRNA abundance in cells or tissues of interest.

As the murine and human genomes have been sequenced, it is now possible to monitor simultaneously the activity of all ~30,000 genes in these genomes. It is anticipated that these data will permit the identification of novel genes as well as modeling of regulatory pathways involved in mammalian inflammation and injury. For more information about microarrays and other tools used for functional genomics research, please visit our Genomics Core section.

Genomics Research Core

Lab equipment


By analogy with the genome, the proteome is the set of all proteins found in an individual. Tens of thousands of genes control the ultimate production of even more different types of proteins, including many that are involved in the human inflammatory response to injury.

In this program, our Proteomics Core groups use techniques such as high-throughput mass spectrometry and flow cytometry to explore the relationship between proteomics and the human response to injury.

Proteomics Research Core

Cell Separation and Sample Preparation

The overall goal of the Cell Separation and Sample Preparation (CSSP) Core is to develop technologies for the collection and isolation of enriched blood leukocyte cell populations that are applicable to critically-ill patient populations for subsequent high-throughput proteomic and genomic analyses, as well as for functional proteomics. The Core also assists with the collection, processing and archival of solid tissue samples obtained at surgical interventions in the trauma and burn patient populations.

The Core has several responsibilities within the Program:

  1. the development of new technologies for the isolation of leukocyte subpopulations from critically-ill trauma and burn patients for subsequent genomic and proteomic analyses, initially employing macroscale techniques, but rapidly moving to a microfluidics approach
  2. the implementation and support of macroscale and microfluidics protocols at the clinical sites, including quality control and quality assurance
  3. the long-term storage and archival of plasma, leukocyte and solid tissue samples (RNA, protein) for future analyses

Because of these distinct functions, the Core has both development and service components similar to the Genomics Core.

Cell Separation and Sample Preparation Core