The Importance Of The Human Genome Project

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I was first introduced to the Human Genome project in 2000, where my molecular biology professor explained genes as small units of DNA in a sea of genetic gibberish or junk. The concept of “junk DNA”was very intriguing to me that why nature created those billions of nucleotides of DNA inside a cell, organized it and packed it without any purpose? Soon I started following the thoughts of Francis Crick, Nobel laureate and co-discoverer of DNA double-helix, who in the early 1960s professed his views on intronic regions of DNA as “little better than junk.” That journey led me to study the “non-coding” part of the genome, which we now know constitute 97% of the human genome. My doctoral thesis at the University of Texas at Dallas (Richardson, Texas) was focused on the structural aspects of one of those non-coding products called ribozymes-the RNA molecules that can catalyze biological reactions like a protein.

As I was finishing the thesis, I wanted to explore the functions of these non-coding RNA molecules in humans and their role in diseases. Soon after Ph.D., I joined the RNA research group led by Dr. Claes Wahlestedt, at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) at Jupiter, Florida. Successful completion of my research project reported an important proof-of-concept milestone in nonhuman primates and
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I would like to present the book chapter (leading and corresponding author) and one of my research articles (co-first author) and the as academic writing samples here. The book chapter entitled “Genomics and Proteomics in Brain Complexity in Relation to Chemically Induced PTSD” was published in Handbook of Toxicology of Chemical Warfare Agents, Second Edition edited by Dr. Ramesh C. Gupta and the research article “Regulation of the Apolipoprotein Gene Cluster by a Long Noncoding RNA” was published in Cell

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