Applying gene expression microarrays to pulmonary disease

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Gene expression microarrays are high throughput technologies that can simultaneously measure the expression levels of most known genes in the human genome within a biological sample. The study of gene expression has revealed new understanding into the biological complexities of the cell and can impact the field of medicine by providing new insights into disease. Examining gene expression in samples from patients with pulmonary disease can elucidate molecular mechanisms responsible for disease pathogenesis or uncover novel molecular subtypes within a disease. Gene expression signatures of disease pathogenesis can further be used to suggest novel therapeutic compounds. Biomarkers can be developed from gene expression data that can aid clinicians in diagnosing disease or can guide clinicians in tailoring therapeutic strategies to individual patients. To demonstrate the applications of gene expression microarray technology, we will review several studies in pulmonary disease that utilize gene expression profiling techniques to gain biological insights into disease or to develop clinically relevant biomarkers for disease management.The Authors: Joshua D. Campbell, BA is a PhD candidate in the bioinformatics programme at Boston University and is interested in applying novel computational methods to gene expression data for the study of human disease. Marc E. Lenburg, PhD is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the section of Computational Biomedicine at Boston University School of Medicine. His research interests include using genomic data to gain insights into pulmonary disease and to develop biomarkers for the clinical management of these diseases. Avrum Spira, MD is an Associate Professor of Medicine, Pathology and Bioinformatics and is chief of the Division of Computational Biomedicine in the Department of Medicine at Boston University. His research interests focus on exploring the complex interaction of genes and the environment in human lung disease in order to develop genomic biomarkers that can directly impact management of these conditions.Conflict of Interest Statement: M.E.L. and A.S. are shareholders in and have acted as paid consultants to Allegro Diagnostics Inc.SERIES EDITOR: DARRYL KNIGHT

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