Our aim in the genomics lab is to leverage the power of modern biotechnology to improve drug treatment. Our focus is disorders of the central nervous system (CNS), so we combine techniques from genetics, neuroscience, informatics and pharmacology. The synergy between these disciplines drives our efforts and is greatly facilitated by recent advances in technology and the volume of reference information on biological systems available in the public domain. These technological advances include next-generation sequencing, digital polymerase chain reaction (dPCR), laser capture microdissection and other tools. In the realm of bioinformatics, published information on genome-wide DNA regulation from the ENCODE and RoadMap Epigenomics consortia greatly enhance the questions we can currently ask about the involvement of genes in drug response.
The current era is unprecedented in clinical CNS research, with specific genes reliably identified for a range of disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar and autism. Now that we have these genes to work with, the next phase of research will deliver significant new insights, as the functional roles of these genes in disease biology and drug response are revealed. By applying the technologies mentioned above to the study of these novel genes for CNS disorders, we hope to make significant contributions to novel clinical applications and CNS drug development.