Department of Molecular Medicine

Outreach Core

The goals of the Core are to enhance the awareness and knowledge of cancer systems biology, recruit next- generation trainees interested in epigenomics, and expand the scope of early-stage and established investigators to engage in omics analysis as part of their research portfolio. Two experienced Core leaders, Dr. Nameer Kirma (UTHSCSA) and Dr. Pearlly Yan (OSU), will coordinate outreach/training activities within the two center sites. In Aim 1, knowledge of advances in cancer systems biology will be disseminated through seminar series and annual symposium. Workshops will provide practical training of novel omics technologies. To maximize exposure and capitalize on our existing expertise, these symposia and workshops will be held every year alternating between the two center sites. In Aim 2, we plan to train new scientists and retool established investigators in systems epigenomics. Postdoctoral fellows and early-stage investigators will have the opportunity to participate in cross-pollination training beyond their current expertise, facilitating a more rounded understanding of systems biology. Early-stage and established investigators will have the opportunity to re-sharpen their research skills in omics analyses through the three proposed projects in our center and the release of annual RFA for supporting two Intra-center Pilot Projects (IPPs). In addition, the Core will organize summer programs for at least six undergraduate students and visiting scientists who will have the opportunity to engage in short-term research projects using omics approaches. Given that both sites have access to a great pool of minority and underserved students in South Texas and Appalachia, we will encourage them to apply for these programs. In Aim 3, we plan to interact with investigators in the RCCSB Consortium and other genomics communities. Working with the leaders of our Administrative Core, we will send a delegation consisting of 10 senior and early-stage investigators and IPP awardees to participate in the annual RCCSB Consortium Steering Committee meeting. Through platform and poster presentations and face-to-face meetings, our investigators will find opportunities and niches for collaboration and data sharing with scientists in the Consortium. Furthermore, we will make contact with members of the NIH-funded 4D nucleome programs and other genomics forums, such as the Cold Spring Harbor Nuclear Organization and Function Symposium, to share our epigenomic findings. To disseminate knowledge on epigenomic advances, we will work with the staff in the Data Analysis and Management Core to set up searchable databases. Ongoing and to-be-developed toolkits will be made available to researchers through our website portal. Collectively, these integrative efforts are expected to nurture next-generation trainees in the area of systems biology and to foster a collaborative spirit with investigators in the RCCSB Consortium and other genomics communities.