Research Center for Genomics and Bioinformatics
Combining cutting-edge hardware and software technologies related to genomic data analysis in graduate education, we develop human resources with the skills required for life science research
Professor Koichiro TAMURA,
Department of Biological Sciences
Graduate School of Science
The Human Genome Project started in the 1980s, trying to decode all human genetic information. As part of that, the development of DNA sequencers, the hardware to read DNA sequences, has advanced at the same time. The speed of that development has been remarkable, with tenfold increases in efficiency realized in about two years, which is five times faster than the speed of the development of computers. However, as a result, the nurturing of human resources to use this hardware and the development of software that analyzes the data output, has not keep up. Consequently, one of our big aims at this Research Center is to develop young researchers with mastery of the latest technologies required in genome sciences.
The development of analytical software is an urgent issue and researchers are also required to have the ability to build analytical computation pipelines combining various computer programs. Therefore, the development of human resources with the skills currently required in life science research, including the technique to handle progressing, advanced devices, high level experimental techniques, and the ability to analyze a massive amount of molecular sequence data, is being demanded.
Because there are few undergraduate or graduate students to be educated at research specialized institutions equipped with high throughput DNA sequencers, whereas hardly any of those equipment has been introduced to universities, the current situation is that there are no places where both advanced research and human resource development can be achieved. There are few places like at our university where graduate students can use cutting-edge genomic analysis technology with high throughput DNA sequencers to carry out their own research projects, so it can be said that we have taken on a pioneering role in Japan.