Oxford Brookes students and staff celebrate a new Centre for Functional Genomics

Thursday, 13 February 2020

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On the 4th of February an audience of over 100 science enthusiasts came to an event celebrating the launch of the new Centre for Functional Genomics (CFG) at Oxford Brookes University.

Genomics can help us understand all aspects of Biology. The Centre is ran by a team of experts in their field; Director: Professor Alistair McGregor , Scientific Director, Dr Saad Arif , Research Fellow, Dr Sebastian Kittleman and Senior Research Fellow: Dr Korneel Hens

Scientific Director Dr Saad Arif opened the event and explained how the CFG can support our Faculty academics planning on leveraging genomic technologies for their research. He also highlighted scheduled training opportunities for students and staff in analysing genomic datasets.

The explosion of genomic data and sequencing technology, in the last 10-15 years, has evolutionized all of Biology. Fields as disparate as conservation biology and genetics are now using genomic data for applications as varied as monitoring biodiversity to identifying
the genetic changes underlying disease. However, making sense of Genomic data requires advanced and rapidy evolving techniques for data handling and analysis which are not always easy for Biologists and have traditionally not been part of the university curriculum
and training of Biology Students . The CFG hopes to fill this gap by providing individual support to faculty research groups and training at all levels (undergraduate to post-graduate). “

Dr Dianne Newbury demonstrated how Functional Genomics can elevate our understanding of genetic factors underlying speech and language. Guest Speaker Professor Matt Loose from the University of Nottingham demonstrated the latest handheld technology for decoding Genomes and spoke about using nanopore sequencing from large genomes to small gene regions.

It was great to see a mix of students and academic staff take an interest in the launch of our new centre and hear how we can help them with their research and training” Dr Saad Arif

The event was also covered on social media by PhD student Elise Padbury you can see the posts on HLS_Research Twitter and OBUfhls Instagram

Other useful social media accounts

Follow the Centre for Functional Genomics on Twitter
McGregorLab on Twitter

Korneel on Twitter
Sebastian on Twitter
Matt on Twitter