The Center for Genetic Medicine was founded in 2000 to facilitate the development of new genetic knowledge and its application to medicine. Representing a collaboration between Northwestern University, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, CGM now includes more than 140 faculty from 19 departments and four schools across these institutions.
Researchers who belong to the center work to better our understanding of fundamental genetic mechanisms and the genetic basis of human disease. One CGM initiative, the NUgene Project, aims to establish a collection of genetic information coupled with electronic medical records from 20,000 volunteers. This "biobank" provides essential data to Northwestern researchers and their collaborators who investigate the genetic components of complex disease, such as diabetes.
To support these and many other efforts, CGM is home to two state-of-the-art core facilities, the Genomics Core and the Transgenic and Targeted Mutagenesis Laboratory (TTML). The Genomics Core provides a multitude of services to both University and non-Northwestern investigators, including high-throughput sequencing using its SOLiD System from Applied Biosystems, representing the next generation of sequencing technology. TTML also offers a comprehensive range of services, including the generation of transgenic mice and cryopreservation, storage, and cryorecovery of mouse embryos.
The center also supports the educational mission of the University. The Graduate Program in Genetic Counseling combines nationally recognized faculty with diverse clinical and patient experiences to provide a strong foundation in core genetic counseling skills. For scientists in training, CGM co-sponsors a travel grant program with the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University.
Finally, CGM aims to improve public understanding of genetics and its potential impacts on society. The Silverstein Lecture Series brings genetics experts to Northwestern twice a year to discuss their work in a public forum. The center also initiated Science Club, an after-school mentorship program with the Boys & Girls Club of Chicago.