Research fields, such as genomics, proteomics, and systems biology, are creating a wealth of information about infectious and immune-mediated diseases. Through the use of advanced technologies, researchers are developing a clearer understanding of pathogens, disease, and host immunity.
Why Is Genomics and Advanced Technologies a Priority for NIAID?
Advanced technologies research fields, such as genomics, proteomics, and bioinformatics, hold great promise for developing new diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines to treat and prevent infectious and immune-mediated diseases.
How Is NIAID Addressing This Critical Topic?
NIAID has made a significant commitment to support and encourage advanced technologies research in Institute labs and in the scientific community. Sophisticated tools are being used to determine the genetic make-up of disease-causing pathogens, to analyze discrepancies among pathogen strains, and to evaluate how immune system responses differ.
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Such research has already led to significant advances. For example, NIAID-supported researchers have completed hundreds of genomic sequences of disease-causing organisms, including pathogens responsible for malaria, tuberculosis, chlamydia, and seasonal and pandemic influenza. Recently, the NIAID-supported Structural Genomics Centers for Infectious Diseases accomplished a significant milestone by determining their 200th 3-D protein structure, information that could provide researchers with critical knowledge for the development of new treatment and prevention strategies.
Data generated through NIAID-supported initiatives is being made rapidly available to the research community. The ultimate goal of the NIAID genomics and advanced technologies program is that researchers will use these data to further pursue new discoveries about the causes, treatment, and ultimate prevention of infectious and immune-mediated diseases.