Bio Info SIG: Tumor-Specific & Tissue-Specific Genes in the Human Genome
Monthly Meeting of the Bioinformatics SIG
Thomas D. Wu, M.D., Ph.D. - Senior Scientist, Dept. of Bioinformatics, Genentech.
We have been undertaking large-scale efforts to identify tumor-specific and tissue-specific genes in the human genome. Tumor-specific genes are of particular interest as possible targets for cancer therapeutics, whereas tissue-specific genes may serve as diagnostic markers for various human diseases.
To identify these genes, we have analyzed a large gene expression database consisting of 8000 human samples hybridized to DNA microarrays that contain over 40,000 spots. We have found that tumor heterogeneity represents a barrier to the identification of tumorspecificity, and we have developed novel methods to handle this problem.
We have also developed methods to identify tissue-specific genes at various levels of tissue specialization. We have found that most genes in the human genome have some element of tissue specificity, and that the organs with the greatest number of tissue-specific genes include the brain, liver, muscle, and certain immune cells. We have also characterized the molecular functions and biological processes of tissue-specific genes.
About the Presenter
Thomas D. Wu, M.D., Ph.D.
I am currently a Senior Scientist in the Department of Bioinformatics at Genentech, Inc., where I serve as group leader for microarray data analysis. My work also involves the development of bioinformatics tools for genomic sequence analysis. Prior to working at Genentech, I obtained my undergraduate and Master's degrees from Stanford University, an M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and a Ph.D. in computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I completed my internship and residency in internal medicine from Stanford University, with certification from the American Board of Internal Medicine. I subsequently worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biochemistry at Stanford University, where I helped to develop the functional genomics tools EMOTIF and EMATRIX, as well as methods for the superposition of multiple protein structures. My awards include Physician Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute; George M. Sprowls Award from M.I.T.; Martin Epstein Award from the American Medical Informatics Association, Frederick E. Terman Award from Stanford; Laureate Award from the Tau Beta Pi engineering society; and election to Tau Beta Pi, Sigma Xi, and Phi Beta Kappa.
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6:30 - 7:00 p.m. Registration and Networking
7:00 - 9:00 p.m. Presentation
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