The field of genomics enables the study of all genes and their functions and is transforming our understanding of living systems. It is also starting to disrupt medicine and propel us into the era of ‘personalised medicine’ where treatments can be tailored to a specific individual, rather than to the population as a whole.
Genomics is changing the way we do biological and medical research, where we are moving away from a ‘reductionist’ approach towards looking at the living system as a whole. For example, we can measure the activity of all of our genes simultaneously and look for relationships between them in an unbiased way. This ‘hypothesis-generating’ approach can lead to unexpected and important findings.
Professor Smith will draw on examples from his own research on antibiotics, sleep disruption, vitamin supplementation and personal genomics to illustrate the power and promise of genomics and to highlight the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration in research today.