Overview of the Program

Basic biomedical research holds the promise of yielding important advances in understanding – and ultimately treating – human disease. In the Program in Gene Function and Expression, researchers endeavor to identify and characterize novel genes and proteins involved in a diverse number of basic cellular functions including: protein-DNA recognition, regulation of gene expression, DNA damage and repair, chromosome structure and function, inter- and intra-cellular signaling, intracellular trafficking, cell proliferation and apoptosis. The ultimate goal of this research is to understand the molecular pathways governing normal biological processes, such as immunity, development and aging, as well as the genesis of various diseases including diabetes and cancer.

Towards this goal, PGFE researchers employ a variety of experimental approaches, techniques and model systems. Their expertise ranges from classical genetic, biochemical and molecular biological approaches to bioinformatic, RNA interference, systems biology and high-throughput methodologies. They utilize a variety of model organisms including baker’s yeast, nematodes, flies, zebrafish and mice. Research is conducted in state-of-the-art laboratories at the UMass Medical School campus in Worcester, Massachusetts, in an environment that is both highly interactive and collaborative.