In September, Boston University (BU) Superfund Research Program (SRP) grantees attended and presented at the Library of Network-Based Cellular Signatures (LINCS) Consortium meeting in Bethesda, Maryland. The BU SRP receives funding through a LINCS supplement and aims to bring more knowledge from NIEHS and grantees into LINCS to continue to build on the consortium's work.
LINCS aims to create a network-based understanding of biology by creating a publicly available catalogue of changes in gene expression and other cellular processes that occur when cells are exposed to a variety of perturbing agents.
BU SRP Center Director David Sherr, Ph.D., and Core Co-Leader Stephano Monti, Ph.D., participated in the meeting. SRP graduate student Amy Li also presented a poster describing their collaborative work with the Connectivity Map (CMAP) team at the Broad Institute.
BU SRP also received supplemental SRP funding for its work to develop a cost-effective genomic analysis platform to predict the carcinogenicity and toxicity of environmental chemicals. The supplement supports a collaboration between BU SRP's Monti and Sherr, NIEHS molecular toxicologist Scott Auerbach, Ph.D., and the CMAP team led by Aravind Subramanian, Ph.D.
The BU SRP poster, "Generation and analysis of transcriptomic gene signatures and carcinogen-associated pathways in liver carcinogenesis," drew substantial interest from meeting attendees. The work undertaken by BU SRP and CMAP provides insight into the molecular mechanisms of action of Superfund chemicals. The computational models developed through this collaboration also will be incorporated into the LINCS Data Portal, making the results immediately accessible to SRP members, NIEHS scientists, and the research community.