Researchers at the Donnelly Centre aim to understand the fundamentals of biology in all its complexity and to use these insights to improve human health.
Thanks to rapid advances in genomic technologies, scientists can view biology in detail that was unimaginable only a decade ago. This has led to the collection of data on an unprecedented scale but finding meaning in this ever-growing mountain of information has been one of the great challenges of the genomic era.
Donnelly Centre researchers tackle this major challenge in genomics by collaborating across different disciplines to drive progress. This has been the key to our success.
To better understand how a human body works from genes to cells to tissues, Donnelly researchers uncover common principles in biology by studying a range of model organisms, such as yeast, flies, worms, fish and human cells.
Through these studies in model organisms, our researchers produce key datasets by building state-of-the-art technologies and push the boundaries of computational biology to analyze them. The goal is always to turn our insights into tangible advances in medicine.
Some examples of our pioneering efforts include:
- mapping the first genetic landscape of any cell, charting in exquisite detail how genes interact in cells;
- producing the world’s first splicing map to help explain how a limited number of genes contain instructions for a vastly greater repertoire of genetic messages and proteins;
- decoding the complex instructions responsible for switching genes on and off, a central part of what shapes our health and disease;
- mapping how proteins work together;
- charting the localization of all proteins in a cell and how it changes in response to mutations or drugs.
Donnelly researchers continue to address major questions in biology while training a new generation of scientists who think beyond the boundaries of single research fields. Our community of graduate students comes from 20 different departments - by far the most interdisciplinary group at the University of Toronto! With biologists, computer scientists and engineers working side by side, our discoveries and breaktrhoughs have only just begun.
For more information on individual researcher’s programs please visit their faculty pages.