TGen President Dr. Jeffrey Trent receives honorary degree from Northern Arizona University

Dr. Trent fostered partnership between TGen and NAU's Center for Microbial Genetics and Genomics

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Dec. 19, 2013 - Dr. Jeffrey Trent, President and Research Director of the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), today receives an honorary degree from Northern Arizona University.

Dr. Trent founded TGen in 2002 as a non-profit medical research institute that is focused on applying advances from the Human Genome Project to discover the molecular basis of disease, identifying factors contributing to disease progression and severity, and accelerating new drug development to advance clinical treatments for patients.

He was pivotal in bringing opportunities in genomics and genetics research to Flagstaff with the opening of TGen's Pathogen Genomics Division (TGen North) and the partnership that created NAU's Center for Microbial Genetics and Genomics.

TGen North opened in 2007 in the Flagstaff Airport Business Park, and has since more than doubled its size. Support from local, state and national leaders, including NAU President Dr. John Haeger, was key to planning and launching TGen North, which has led to significant scientific advancement and economic development in Flagstaff.


TGen North scientists focus on diagnostic, analytic, forensic and epidemiologic research related to deadly pathogens important to medicine, biodefence and public health, including microbial infections that contaminate our food and environment. These activities are linked across TGen North's five research centers for: Public Health and Clinical Pathogens; Microbiomics and Human Health; Dangerous Pathogens; Pathogen Information; and Pathogenic Fungal Genomics.

TGen North is led by Dr. Paul Keim, one of the world's foremost experts in anthrax and other dangerous infectious diseases. Dr. Keim is a professor of biology and the Cowden Endowed Chair in Microbiology at Northern Arizona University (NAU). David Engelthaler, the former Arizona State Epidemiologist and Arizona Biodefense Coordinator, provides the day-to-day management of TGen North.

The research capabilities of the lab include a variety of PCR-based analyses, genetic sequencing, Biosafety Level 1 and 2 pathogen handling, forensic genetic analysis of biothreat agents, and bioinformatic analyses. TGen North also has access to advanced Biosafety Level 3 facilities on the NAU campus and the comprehensive genomic research capabilities of TGen's headquarters in Phoenix.

In addition to NAU, TGen North has many local, national and international research partners, including universities, biotech companies, security agencies, health care providers, and public health departments.

Prior to forming TGen in 2002, Dr. Trent served for 10 years as the Scientific Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Under his guidance, NHGRI's Division of Intramural Research became an internationally recognized research center in human genetics.

Dr. Trent's research has provided important insights into the genetic basis of cancer. He is the author of more than 300 manuscripts in the scientific literature, numerous book chapters, invited reviews in the scientific literature, and hundreds of invited lectures. He has received numerous honors and awards, and has sat on the editorial boards of a dozen scientific publications. He specializes in developing and integrating novel "omic" technologies, supporting studies of molecular changes related to the predisposition to and progression of human cancers and other complex diseases.

Dr. Trent's faculty positions included: The University of Arizona, where he was Deputy Director and Director for Basic Science of the Arizona Comprehensive Cancer Center; the University of Michigan, where he held the E. Maisel Endowed Professorship in Cancer Genetics, Professor of Human Genetics and Radiation Oncology, and Deputy Director and Director of Basic Research for the Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center; and a continuing Adjunct Professorship at Johns Hopkins University and Professor in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University. He also is a Diplomat of the American College of Medical Genetics.

And, he is a Member of: the Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center; the American Association for Cancer Research; the American Association for the Advancement of Science; the American Society of Human Genetics; and the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

About 2,500 students will receive their bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees during ceremonies scheduled today in the J. Lawrence Walkup Skydome on NAU's Flagstaff Mountain Campus.

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About TGen
Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a Phoenix, Arizona-based non-profit organization dedicated to conducting groundbreaking research with life changing results. TGen is focused on helping patients with cancer, neurological disorders and diabetes, through cutting edge translational research (the process of rapidly moving research towards patient benefit). TGen physicians and scientists work to unravel the genetic components of both common and rare complex diseases in adults and children. Working with collaborators in the scientific and medical communities literally worldwide, TGen makes a substantial contribution to help our patients through efficiency and effectiveness of the translational process. For more information, visit:www.tgen.org.

Press Contact:
Steve Yozwiak
TGen Senior Science Writer
602-343-8704
[email protected]


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