Reflecting the emergence of a new research discipline combining human genetics and pathology, the University of Washington School of Medicine will establish a Center for Molecular Genetic Pathology.
The new center will be funded with $1.25 million in federal funds from the National Institutes of Health’s Center for Research Resources, $1.5 million from the School of Medicine, and $500,000 from other university sources.
The funding will go toward a major renovation of laboratory space in the Department of Pathology, said Dr. Nelson Fausto, professor and department chair.
“We have been very successful in our research efforts, but our lab facilities are no longer adequate,” he said. “These grants will allow us to provide a state-of-the-art research base, and assist us greatly in recruiting top researchers.”
The new space will be designed with movable partitions to allow flexible use and encourage interaction among researchers, Fausto said. “The flexible space will give us a way of coalescing our faculty as we develop a new specialty that will provide both research and training.”
While the disciplines of human genetics and pathology have traditionally been pursued separately, there is increasing evidence of the genetic basis of many diseases, said Fausto. “We need to advance our understanding of how gene alterations cause disease.”
Fausto added that the new facilities will enhance existing close ties with the School of Medicine’s Division of Medical Genetics and the School of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Genetics.
It is expected that the new center will be fully operational within two years.