The availability of full genomes and high-throughput technologies to characterize healthy or disease-affected cells has revolutionized the way diseases such as cancer can be investigated. We are now in a position to understand and fight cancer at the level of individual molecules and of the interactions between them.
This novel research perspective has given rise to an entirely new discipline, called “ONCOGENOMICS”, whose goal is precisely to apply post-genomics results to oncology. During the past 5 years, IFOM and IEO have been carrying on a concerted investment plan (instruments purchase and expert personnel recruitment) on oncogenomics technologies. This has allowed the creation of a technological core — shared among the two centers — offering advanced experimental methodologies in nanotechnology (DNA arrays), bioinformatics, robotics, proteomics, structural biology and animal models.
Today, the technological core is managed and coordinated by the “Cogentech” (Consortium for Genomic Technologies), a consortium created by IFOM and IEO to serve as common facility for the two institutions. The consortium also allows different Italian academic institutions access to equipment, techniques and related know-how, and therefore represents a national reference center in oncogenomics. By identifying new targets and suggesting potential drugs, this powerful technological structure will achieve, in the long run, groundbreaking results toward the development of new therapies in cancer.