TGen Awarded $1 Million from the W.M. Keck Foundation

Grant will fund research in systems biology

Phoenix, AZ, August 2, 2007--The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) has announced the award of a $1 million grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation to fund a project designed to shed light on the regulation of cellular processes at a genomic level. The project is a joint endeavor between researchers at TGen and Texas A&M University.

The project is based on an emerging field called systems biology that combines engineering, mathematics and biology to further our understanding of the underlying signal processing that takes place within cells.

TGen's infrastructure is already in place to carry out these types of detailed systems biology experiments. Dr. Michael Bittner, Co-Director and Senior Investigator of TGen's Computational Biology Division, will lead the project.

"This project allows us to further our knowledge of cellular 'control systems' and to build new technologies that measure and analyze the processes going on both inside the cell and between cells," said Dr. Bittner. "In this way, we will develop biological versions of the methods engineers use to study man-made systems, such as telecommunications and computing systems."

Dr. Bittner will collaborate with Dr. Edward Dougherty, Co-Director and Adjunct Senior Investigator of TGen's Computational Biology Division and Professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering at Texas A&M University.

The W.M. Keck Foundation, one of the nation's largest philanthropic organizations, supports pioneering discoveries in science, engineering and medical research.

"This gift from the W. M. Keck Foundation represents far more to TGen than the funding of an important research opportunity," said Michael Bassoff, President of the TGen Foundation. "It is recognition by the W. M. Keck Foundation of the leading edge science that is conducted by TGen and its collaborators, and the critical impact we will make on the future of medical treatments for patients with life threatening diseases."

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About TGen
The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, is focused on developing earlier diagnoses and smarter treatments. Translational genomics research is a relatively new field employing innovative advances arising from the Human Genome Project and applying them to the development of diagnostics, prognostics and therapies for cancer, neurological disorders, diabetes and other complex diseases. TGen's research is based on personalized medicine and the institute plans to accomplish its goals through robust and disease-focused research.

About the W.M. Keck Foundation
Based in Los Angeles, the W. M. Keck Foundation was established in 1954 by the late W. M. Keck, founder of the Superior Oil Company. The Foundation's grant making is focused primarily on pioneering efforts in the areas of medical research, science and engineering. The Foundation also maintains a program to support undergraduate science and humanities education and a Southern California Grant Program that provides support in the areas of health care, civic and community services, education and the arts, with a special emphasis on children.

Media Contacts:

Amy Erickson
Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen)
(602) 343-8522
[email protected]

Mercedes Talley
The W.M. Keck Foundation
[email protected]

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