TIP/University of Wisconsin-Madison genomics experts
Today's public unveiling of the "working draft" of the human genone, along with a flurry of scholarly papers on its implications, marks another step in the evolution of this new science toward practical medical benefits.
The entire genome sequence, composed of about 3 billion units and as many as 40,000 genes, will be made available online. The world's two top scientific journals - Science and Nature - have also released special editions exploring where the science is taking us.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison has an accomplished group of scientists working in the genomics field, including some who have ties to the federal Human Genome Project. UW-Madison is home to the Genome Center of Wisconsin, which serves as a focal point for genetic research in plants, animals and people.
Scientists here also are studying the social and ethical implications of unlocking the human genome. A strategic hiring effort at UW-Madison has resulted in the addition last year of two new experts in bioethics.
The following is a sampling of UW-Madison expertise on this new frontier of science. For a more complete look at the university's genomics contributions, visit our biotechnology site at: http://www.news.wisc.edu/packages/biotech/
Fred Blattner, professor of genetics 608-262-2534; email@example.com Blattner is director of UW-Madison's new Genome Center of Wisconsin, a concentration of faculty who are developing tools to sequence the complete blueprints of life forms and determine the functions of individual genes. Blattner achieved a milestone in the field in 1997 by sequencing the complete genome of E. coli, at the time the most complex organism ever sequenced.
Michael Sussman, director of the UW-Madison Biotechnology Center 608-262-8608; firstname.lastname@example.org Sussman leads a center at the heart of the biosciences on campus, with active programs in public education and service to Wisconsin's thriving biotechnology industry. The center is meant to be a core service facility for biology faculty campus-wide, and a guidepost for the economic and ethical challenges in the field.
Alta Charo, professor of law and history of medicine 608-262-5015; email@example.com Charo is a leading scholar of bioethics and public policy on biotechnology. She has brought a unique interdisciplinary background to controversial topics such as cloning, reproductive technologies, research on human beings, and embryo research. She is currently serving by appointment of President Clinton on the President's National Bioethics Advisory Commission.
Norman Fost, professor of pediatrics 608-263-8562; firstname.lastname@example.org Fost is the founder of UW-Madison's program in medical ethics, and has garnered national recognition for his leadership in the field. He has served for years as the chair of the UW Hospital and Clinic's ethics and human subjects committees. His opinions are sought nationally on subjects such as health care access, testing for genetic diseases, cloning and patient's rights.
David Schwartz, a professor of chemistry and genetics 608-265-0546; email@example.com Schwartz is a national leader in the development of better, faster ways to decipher genetic information in plants and animals. His optical mapping technology creates whole genome maps in a fraction of the time of comparable technologies. His technology is in use in mapping the human genome, the rice genome, and was recently used in completing the genome for malaria.
Lloyd Smith, professor of chemistry 608-263-2594; firstname.lastname@example.org Smith is a world leader in the design and development of technologies used in the race to sequence the genetic material of plants and animals. He has recently made big advances in demonstrating the potential of DNA-based computing. He is also a co-founder of Third Wave Technologies, one of Wisconsin's most successful biotech companies.