It is now well recognised that many human diseases, including cancer and communicable diseases, involve complex (epi-) genetic processes, composed of both hereditable and environmental factors. MC-GARD is aimed at the development of the European Research Area (ERA) and proposes three conferences and two training events. This series of events (SCF) is designed to survey the development and application of techniques for the investigation of human genome from three architectural perspectives and in relation to cancer and heritable diseases. Research in this field is rapidly expanding and will have a large impact on our understanding, prognosis and diagnosis of human disease and prevention. Recent studies of cancer (i.e. glioblastoma, breast cancer), inherited complex diseases (i.e. heart defects, mental retardation) and communicable diseases (i.e. leprosy, HIV/AIDS) have demonstrated the clinical relevance of genetic variations. Additional progresses should be anticipated, with wide-scale SNP projects combined with DNA sequence analysis of large numbers of individuals.
These developments obscure the distinction between major clinical disciplines encompassing genetics, microbiology, pathology and oncology, and require cross-talk with disciplines such as genomics, epigenetics, cytology, (3-D) image analysis, bioinformatics and statistics. MC-GARD will bring together junior researchers from these diverse disciplines for interaction with leading researchers and clinicians, as well as policymakers, which will allow Europe to make a significant step forward. The societal reasons for organising the events are to further our understanding of disease susceptibility and progression, and translate new tools post-genomically into diagnostics. The conferences will also provide a venue for small to medium-size companies and encourage interdisciplinary contacts. Training events will provide early-stage researchers with hands-on experience in genomics and emerging diagnostic techniques.
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