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MSU hosts 2008 world avian genomics meeting
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi State University’s Institute for Digital Biology hosted a four-day international conference in May on avian genomics.
In hosting this conference, MSU joined a prestigious list of genetic research institutions that includes biomedical institutes in the United Kingdom, Japan and Spain, as well as the Stowers Institute in Kansas City, Mo., and the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories in New York.
“These are the world’s leading biomedical genomics institutes,” said Shane Burgess, College of Veterinary Medicine professor and IDB co-director. “We had probably 90 percent of the world’s leaders in all bird, crocodile and even dinosaur genomics attending. This meeting was a huge success for us because we were able to count on our MSU administrators, IDB faculty and graduate student colleagues.”
The chicken is the most used nonmammalian vertebrate model organism in biomedical research for human health. Much of what scientists learn about chicken genetics contributes directly to the understanding of how to treat human genetic disease.
“Not only do we eat a lot of chickens, but they rank right up there with mice when it comes to helping us solve human diseases,” Burgess said.
Burgess, along with event co-organizers Fiona McCarthy and Susan Bridges, were recently awarded a $1.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to further their work on rebuilding the chicken genome map.
The genome contains an organism’s entire hereditary information. Scientists have been working diligently for years to decipher these codes and standardize their findings so information can be shared.
MSU has become a world-recognized leader for the wealth of genomic annotation information it has made available to the scientific community, its computational biology skills, and its wet-laboratory genomics work.
The conference was funded by MSU’s Office of the Provost.
Contact: Dr. Shane Burgess, (662) 325-1239