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Ongoing efforts of the AU-CMB faculty and students are focused in the three complementary areas:
Functional Genomics, Proteomics and Bioengineering
Efforts in this area are aimed at understanding how genes (DNA) and gene products (RNA and protein) affect the function and behavior of cells, and how such molecules can be designed to ensure the success, optimize the efficiency or direct the nature of biological processes (bioengineering).
Auburn faculty are already categorizing and mapping genes and evaluating gene function in many species, and are actively engaged in the characterization of individual genes and gene products that affect growth and development in economically important plants and animals.
Using the tools of functional genomics, studies in molecular ecology promise to add a powerful new interdisciplinary dimension to efforts aimed at understanding how organisms adapt to changing environmental conditions in the wild. Efforts in bioengineering include the design of pharmaceutical agents and genetically modified organisms with medical or other commercial value.
Signal Transduction and Development
Signal transduction and development are coupled processes. Without them, plants and animals could not reproduce, grow or respond to their environments as necessary to survive. Studies in this area are designed to identify mechanisms regulating development and function in animals, plants and other organisms.
The aim of research in this area is to determine how internal and external signals are recognized and coupled to responses that dictate whether cells, tissues and organisms develop and function normally.
Scientists working in this area use the tools of functional genomics and proteomics, and provide fundamental information needed by scientists seeking to explain the biology of disease (pathobiology).
Cell and Molecular Biology of Disease
Efforts in this area encompass investigations of disease processes in all types of organisms at a mechanistic level. Research includes studies of mechanisms by which certain disease processes are initiated, by which disease events progress, and by which diseases cause death or damage to the host.
Basic understanding of such pathobiology is allowing Auburn scientists to identify biological markers of disease states, and to develop therapeutic strategies using molecular tools.