Functional Genomics


Learning Outcomes

On completion of this applied module, students should be able to:
● Demonstrate an appreciation of the international scale of co-ordinated effort required to assemble the biological resources for analysis of gene function
● Communicate a theoretical experience of using genomics and related databases to analyse gene and genome inter-relationships
● Describe the current methodologies for prediction of the structural relationships of proteins
● Evaluate the value and constraints associated with the study of model systems for functional genomics
● Demonstrate an understanding of the basic technological principles of transcriptome, proteome and metabolome analysis
● Discuss the range of computational methods being used to interpret functional genomics data
● Discuss the concepts of high throughput screening and forced evolution methodologies in modern biology
● Appreciate current research strategies for gene discovery and determining gene function(functional genomics) and biological data analysis and interpretation (bioinformatics)
● Describe the role that genomics and bioinformatics has to play in modern medicine and fundamental research
● Demonstrate skills and knowledge of the concepts underlying database access, sequence analysis, protein classification and functional assignment
● Appreciate the range of computational methods being used to interpret functional genomics data
● Show awareness of the current status of the human genome project and its context in society


The lectures and workshops cover the following topics:
● An Introduction to Functional genomics
● The Human Genome Project
● Investigation of genetic diseases
● Development of genomics resources
● Genome mapping strategies
● Model systems for functional genomics
● Introduction to 'Omic technologies
● Methodologies for predicting gene function
● Post genomics technologies
● Protein-protein interactions
● Advanced protein modelling and secondary structure prediction
● High Throughput Screening
● Systems Biology
● Advanced Bioinformatics methods
● Data interpretation methods
● Specific examples of the application of genomics and bioinformatics to ongoing research at Aberystwyth

Brief Description

This module is an integrated series of lectures, seminars and workshops covering the modern discipline of Functional Genomics. Functional Genomics has been defined as 'The development and application of global (genome-wide or system-wide) experimental approaches to assess gene function by making use of the information and reagents provided by genome sequencing and mapping' (Hietor, P. and Boguski, M. (1997) Science 278:601).

Functional genomics employs novel technologies for genome-wide analysis supported by IT. This involves experimental and computational methods. High throughput experimental technologies based on measuring gene expression, protein structure and protein interactions are being used to generate large datasets to aid understanding of gene function. Powerful information systems are required for the efficient management and integration of the experimental data. The results emerging from these analyses will inform new predictive strategies to identify new and useful genes and potential drug targets, understand gene behaviour, and develop novel therapeutic products.


The module provides an introduction to post-genomics technologies and practical training in bioinformatics methods.