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UNT Health Science Center welcomes the biotech century


UNT System: Resource magazine >> UNT Health Science Center
welcomes the biotech century

UNT Health Science Center welcomes the biotech centuryIn these first decades of the biotech century, our way of life will change more than in the previous thousand years. These changes offer promises, such as bioremediation and alternative fuels and energy, but also dangers, such as hazards to the biosphere and threats of biological warfare. Nowhere will the effects be greater than in medicine and human health. For example, new diagnostic tools resulting from the Human Genome Project will vastly enhance our ability to predict the onset and progression of disease. The current trial-and-error approach for disease treatment will be replaced by drugs with unprecedented specificity, efficacy and safety.
    The surprisingly small number of genes found in the human genome sequence has revealed that the higher level of complexity lies at the protein level. Thus, when the human genome sequence was announced, the human proteome all the proteins contained in a cell or organism project was initiated as the next step.
by Robert Gracy, Ph.D. Associate vice president for research and biotechnology, UNT Health Science Center    The genome project involved dozens of sequencing centers in many countries and both academia and industry. The human proteome project will be far more complex and will require far more interdisciplinary teams involving molecular biology, genetics, bioinformatics, nanotechnology, medicine, engineering, robotics, chemistry, physics, materials science and many others. The projectwill require teams of researchers from academia, industry and government laboratories from all over the world.
    The UNT Health Science Center at Fort Worth will be a part of this effort, and the focus of these activities will take place in the Biotechnology Research Center now being planned. The center will house an entire spectrum of activities, from basic to applied scientific research, involving both academia and industry. Translational research will allow discoveries to progress through development, prototyping and clinical trials to minimize costs and development time for new drugs and medical devices. This will speed the processes of "discovery to bedside."
    The center will be home for the Health Science Center's multidisciplinary Institutes for Discovery. The DNA Identity Laboratory and the biotechnology graduate program will be located there. It will also provide space for the Fort Worth Med Tech Incubator (where discoveries are spun off into new biotech companies), research facilities for corporate research partners and core facilities for genomics, proteomics, microscopy, imaging and others. The Biotechnology Research Center will exemplify the multidisciplinary team research paradigm of the biotech century.

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