Professor, Molecular Microbiology and Functional Genomics
Director, Microarray and Bioinformatics Core Facilities
University of Oklahoma
Department of Botany and Microbiology
Stephenson Research and Technology Center
101 David L. Boren Blvd.
Norman, OK 73019
WEB: Web site
RELATED OU LINK: oubcf.ou.edu, ou.edu/cas/botany-micro/
Because human genes are almost identical, just knowing the sequences doesn’t explain why we are individuals, says Tyrrell Conway, professor of molecular microbiology and functional genomics and director of OU’s Microarray and Bioinformatics Core Facilities. “What makes us unique is the level of expression of each of those genes during development and also in response to insults like disease.”
Using cutting-edge technology called microarrays, Conway and his colleagues are creating powerful tools to measure those unique markers.
Microarrays – or genome chips – are thousands of genetic material “spots” typically less than 200 microns in diameter. An experiment with a single genome chip can provide researchers information on thousands of genes simultaneously. Conway’s database to manage that multitude of data allows the monitoring of gene expression within a single experiment and compilation of a comprehensive database with virtually endless capabilities. “Imagine a database that can give the history of the diseases you have had. If you are susceptible to a certain disease and you come down with it, you want to know the prognosis and best treatment,” Conway says. “This is the kind of information we think is locked into the gene expression profiles that you get with these microarrays.”