While we have had the map of the human genome for over a decade, the function of the information encoded by much of the genome remains obscure. Functional genomics attempts to understand the genome by perturbing the flow of information from DNA to RNA to protein, and continued technological development, first with RNAi and more recently with CRISPR, promises to decode the function of genes and enable us to understand how gene dysfunction leads to disease.
All genetic screens require not only good perturbations, but also good models and good assays. Thus, in addition to research and development, a main focus of our group is to engage labs in and outside Broad on gene function discovery projects. A major strength of the Platform model is that, with each new screen we do, we accumulate institutional knowledge that better informs the design, execution, and analysis of all subsequent projects. As with all Platforms at the Broad, we work on a cost-recovery model, meaning the collaborating lab is expected to provide funding for reagents, time, and equipment. We frequently assist collaborators with grant proposals.