Known as the industrial revolution of the 21st Century, genomic research will exert profound influence on the development of medicine, pharmaceutics, agriculture, chemistry and even the information industry. The VGH-NYMU research team (consisted of the Taipei Veterans General Hospital and National Yang-Ming University) constructed the BAC contig map of chromosome 4 independently and with limited resources. The group is ranked as 16th among genome sequencing centers in the world, which is considered a brilliant achievement in terms of the size of Yang-Ming University. The National Yang-Ming University-VGH Genome Research Center, based on our previous accomplishments, was therefore invited to participate in the International Chimpanzee Genome Sequencing Program and the International Streptomyces Genome Project. The National Yang-Ming University-VGH Genome Research Center has also helped complete the Rice Sequencing Project and Mosquito EST Project. Since 2002, National Yang-Ming University-VGH Genome Research Center has become the core genome sequencing center for national genome projects.
However, genome sequencing is only the first step in genome studies. After the sequencing of the human genome, it has become more important to investigate how the genomes control and regulates growth, aging and disease in organisms. With funding from the Program for Promoting Academic Excellence of Universities promoted by the Ministry of Education, National Yang-Ming University-VGH Genome Research Center is actively engaged in a number of “epigenomics” and “genome regulation” projects. National Yang-Ming University-VGH Genome Research Center has established self-invented technology to build up a data bank and sequencing regulation bank for liver epigenomics, which will be a great contribution to the understanding of how the liver functions and the diagnosis/treatment of liver diseases.
With a solid background, we are actively collaborating with the Veteran General Hospital and the Institute of Biomedicine of Academia Sinica to investigate the genome structure of Chinese people and its relation to various diseases. With the collaboration of the Institute of Chemistry and Genomic Research Center of Academia Sinica, we plan to develop a new discipline “Chemical Genomics” and its applications. In addition, in a joint effort with National Research Institute of Chinese Medicine and Genomic Research Center of Academia Sinica, we have developed a genomics approach to Chinese herbal medicines and their applications in biopharmacy. We are also collaborating with the Institute of Molecular Biology and the Institute of Botany and Microbiology and examining the evolution and comparative genomics of the species involved. Under the principle of resource sharing and augmentation, our school plays an important role in the research and application of genomic research globally.