The Common Fund's Building Blocks, Biological Pathways, and Networks program is designed to develop new technologies for studying molecular events that comprise biological pathways and networks in cells in order to catalyze studies of normal and disease-related processes. The program consists of three initiatives:
Researchers discover cellular interactions that play key role in gene silencing
Each eukaryotic cell has an enclosed nucleus that houses its genome. The barrier between the nucleus and the cytoplasm is the nuclear envelope. The nuclear envelope contains channels called nuclear pores, which allow the exchange of large molecules between the nucleus and the cytoplasm. Each Nuclear Pore Complex (NPC) is, as its name implies, a sophisticated molecular machine composed of dozens of proteins, many of which have functions not well understood.
New approach allows for a greater understanding of how genomes are organized in cells
Genomes, contained within chromosomes, encode the hereditary information inside each of our cells. The Human Genome Project, completed in 2003, was a large scale effort to decode the full DNA sequence from humans. While this was a milestone in modern technology, we have now come to understand that in addition to the sequence, the three-dimensional conformation of the genome plays a fundamental role in the expression of genes.
Currently Funded National Technology Centers