Whole Systems Genomics Initiative Formed
Texas A&M University, the flagship institution of The Texas A&M University System, announced a new research initiative that will revolutionize scientific discovery and fundamentally reshape the world during the 21st century. The Whole Systems Genomics Initiative (WSGI), a strong faculty conceived program at Texas A&M University developed as part of the Chancellor’s Research Initiative (CRI) will define the future of genomic science, enabling researchers to address some of the most pressing challenges facing modern society through innovative and collaborative scholarly programs. While recent advances in technology have led to impactful discoveries in deciphering and engineering genomes, the next era of genomic science will push the frontiers of discovery as researchers work together in a coordinated effort to identify novel applications for this new knowledge.
“Genomic science, as the newest frontier in scholarly research, is throwing open the door to a revolutionary way of approaching our health, the health and welfare of animals, and the sustainability of our environment. Strengthened by the collaborative efforts of faculty experts from across the system, the Whole Systems Genomics Initiative announced today represents the catalyst for the next quantum leap in scientific discovery.”
– John Sharp, Chancellor of The Texas A&M University System.
Threadgill Named to Lead Whole Systems Genomics Initiative
Dr. David Threadgill (’83, ’89), a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a leader in genomics, has been recruited from North Carolina State University as the Director for the WSGI. Equipped with a notable history of developing scholarly teams in highly successful interdisciplinary programs, Threadgill will be tasked with positioning Texas A&M as a global leader in genomics by aligning teams from diverse expertise and disciplines currently located at Texas A&M, and establishing rich collaborations both nationally and internationally. Threadgill will have academic appointments as Professor in the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM), and Professor and holder of the Tom and Jean McMullin Chair of Genetics in the Department of Molecular & Cellular Medicine in the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine. Threadgill arrives at Texas A&M with a solid framework for the WSGI already in place, which represents 184 faculty members in 39 departments and units across nine colleges, Texas A&M Health Science Center and other A&M System components. In addition, the establishment of the WSGI reinforces Texas A&M’s commitment to One Health, the concept that animal, human, and ecosystem health are inextricably linked, and to the creation of a world class genomics program that will be preeminently positioned to serve society’s changing needs.
“This innovative program has the potential to vastly improve the lives of humans and animals, and to advance agricultural productivity by leveraging one of our strengths at Texas A&M: collaboration by outstanding faculty, students and staff from several disciplines to address real-world issues.”
– Dr. R. Bowen Loftin, The Then President of Texas A&M University
Texas A&M Institute for Genome Sciences and Society Founded
The genomics revolution will fundamentally reshape the world during the 21st century on a scale equivalent to changes ushered in by the agricultural revolution of the 18th century, the industrial revolution of the 19th century, or the physical science revolution (quantum physics, computers) of the 20th century and genomics pioneers at Texas A&M University are helping to lead the way. Texas A&M Institute for Genome Sciences and Society (TIGSS) is founded on principles first laid out in the white paper proposal for the Whole Systems Genomics Initiative. Participation in Texas A&M Institute for Genome Sciences and Society (TIGSS) is open to all faculty, staff and students. Contributions in genetics and genomics by these world-renowned scientists have advanced agricultural productivity, human and animal health, and have influenced economics, policy, ethics, geography and business. TIGSS functions as a virtual institute to unite genome scientists with researchers who study the social, economic, and ethical consequences and impacts of genomics technology, as well as bioinformatics scientists who conduct research on how to analyze and manage large datasets such as those generated by high-throughput genomics experiments. The goals of TIGSS are based on the principal concepts to:
- Enhance educational excellence and opportunities for undergraduate through postdoc training in the genetic and genomic sciences, and stimulate cross-fertilization of the natural and social sciences to enhance the the impact of genome science advances.
- Expand infrastructure and support for genome-scale research that contributes to improved human and animal well-being and environmental stewardship.
- Increase visibility and promote existing excellence and expertise in genomics, particularly in, but not limited to, the agricultural, medical, veterinary, and life sciences.
- Connect people and stimulate multidisciplinary collaborations both within and outside of Texas A&M.
- Facilitate access to instrumentation and computing hardware/software research tools.
- Support and enhance competition for national and international Grand Challenge awards.
Molecular Genomics Lab – VMR 266