Bioinformatics in the Health Sciences: Toward Tailored Medicine?
Department of Biology
University of Waterloo
December 8, 2004
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Davis Centre 1304, University of Waterloo
View Video of Presentation in HI Alive Archive: Research Seminars Archive 2004-2005
The rapid development of analytical tools in bioinformatics is making it feasible to simultaneously screen for hundreds of human genetic variations. This creates the possibility of tailoring treatment of disease based on the genetic profile of an individual. This can also create ethical considerations—for example, genetic testing could be requested as a condition of employment, in the same manner that drug testing can be requested today. More promisingly, diagnostic procedures based on protein or gene expression profiles may be possible in the near future. Proteins from a blood or tissue sample may be able to distinguish types of cancers, rapidly identify pathogens, or determine the most appropriate treatment for disease. These techniques will require appropriate data management and analysis tools, and it is foreseeable that they can have broad application within the health sciences.
Brendan McConkey is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Waterloo. He completed his B.Sc. in Physics and his Ph.D. in Biology at the University of Waterloo, followed by a post-doctoral position at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. Current research interests include proteomic analysis of cell cycle progression, differential protein expression in cellular aging, and proteomics of genetically modified organisms. His lab is also involved in development of computational methods of protein structure prediction.