Title: "Discovering Protein Function Using Functional Genomics"
Speaker: Tony Hazbun, Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Purdue University
Place: Mechanical Engineering (ME) 161; Tuesday, 4:30pm


Functional genomics is a very active field of research that converts genome sequence into functional information about proteins. The advent of sequenced genomes has brought the realization that we lack knowledge of protein function for a large fraction of an organism's protein coding potential. The budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, was the first eukaryotic genome to be sequenced and is at the leading edge of functional genomics. An important aspect of understanding protein function is to determine protein-protein interactions using the two-hybrid assay. I will demonstrate the effectiveness of the two-hybrid assay and other functional genomics tools in discovering protein function encoded by uncharacterized genes in yeast. In addition, I will present a novel two-hybrid method that detects protein interactions dependent on post-translational modifications. Our knowledge of protein function is unsurpassed in yeast compared to other organisms. Despite this substantial level of knowledge I make the case that we need to focus on specific biological processes to fully extract all the information possible from functional genomics methods. An example of a specific biological process I will focus on is mitosis and in particular the kinetochore and spindle which serve as structural protein hubs for several biological pathways controlling chromosome segregation. Several proteins involved in chromosome segregation are dysregulated in several cancers and are prime therapeutic targets. Using yeast and functional genomic tools to focus on chromosome segregation will have significant medical impact with respect to cancer and birth defects.

Click here for a full schedule of BIOINFORMATICS SEMINARS, past and present.