Pacific Center for Genome Research Cores

Pacific Center for Genome Research Cores

Administrative Core

Administrative Core

The purpose of the Administrative Core is to provide the leadership and administrative management for the Pacific Center for Genome Research (PCGR) aimed at capitalizing on the infrastructure at the University of Hawaiʻi (UH) and the racial/ethnic diversity of its catchment area to conduct genomic research addressing the racial/ethnic differences in disease risks and outcomes that exist in Hawaiʻi and the Pacific. The Administrative Core will build upon a number of institutional resources, both administrative and scientific, to foster the implementation and coordination of the research in this U54. This Core will also closely coordinate the U54 resource-building and career-development activities with those implemented by UH, so greater efficiency is achieved at the institutional level. Thus, this Core serves major administrative and integrative functions for the grant. The U54 will rely on an Internal Advisory Committee (IAC), consisting of key senior scientists on genome research, to receive input on research opportunities and to facilitate coordination with potentially synergistic local initiatives. The program will also benefit from the input of a Community Advisory Board (CAB) composed of community leaders and patient advocates with experience in disease disparities and/or survivorship, and who will advise on the responsiveness of our activities to community needs and expectations. Program evaluation will heavily rely on the input of an External Advisory Board (EAB) composed of outside investigators who are leaders in genome research.

Specific Aims of the Administrative Core:

Aim 1. To organize, integrate, and provide administrative management of all Projects and Cores.

Aim 2. To provide project management oversight to track milestones and timelines of the individual Projects and Cores.

Aim 3. To facilitate collaborations, including coordinating scientific opportunities and result reporting with NIH and external Center partners, and providing integration and strategic vision for research activities within University of Hawaii systems as they relate to Genome research.

Community Engagement Core

Community Engagement Core

The Community Engagement Core (CEC) has a long-term goal to ensure the Pacific Center for Genome Research (PCGR)’s consideration of equity and ethics in the examination of genetic and other risk factors across the underserved and racial/ethnic minority groups including Native Hawaiians (NHs). Additionally, the CEC will develop resources to support genetic education and training for students, medical providers, and the broader community, including the medically underserved communities identified for investigation. We will work closely with the Genomic Workforce Development Core and the Administrative Core to build a repository of resources for use in various formats to support the PCGR’s training and educational activities. Additionally, we will hold annual workshops and seminars to build awareness of the implications of genomic research in partnership with the community-based organizations working with these underserved groups.

Specific aims of the CEC are:

Aim 1. To provide clinical and community stakeholder input and oversight for Research Project 1 which aims to identify causally relevant biomarkers for risks of selected diseases across different populations and understand marker-risk factor interaction effects on disease risks.

Aim 2. To provide clinical and community stakeholder input and oversight for Research Project 2 which aims to characterize the genomic landscape, perform epigenomic profiling and identify genomic risk factors for lung cancer in NHs by comparing them with the genomics and epigenomics data from other racial/ethnic groups.

Aim 3. To support student, stakeholder, and community education and awareness of the U54 PCGR. The CEC will convene Community Advisory Boards to support the promotion and education about the two U54 PCGR projects among physicians, content experts, and community stakeholders. The CEC will also develop and implement a regular series of community seminars and workshops to disseminate U54 PCGR and external genome research leaders’ scientific findings and identify strategies for implementing risk identification methods in clinical settings.

Genomic Workforce Development Core

Genomic Workforce Development Core

The uniqueness of student diversity within the University of Hawaiʻi (UH), and the vast state-wide interlinked undergraduate (UG) educational network and existing UG research programs, will enable us to create a diverse graduate-level (GR) ‘workforce-in-training’ program leading to careers in genomics. We term this "PoWER-G" - Promotion of Workforce Employment and Readiness in Genomics. The primary goal of the Genomic Workforce Development Core (GWDC) is to establish a robust integrated educational pipeline to develop a solid genomic and bioinformatic GR student training and professional development experience, which utilizes existing resources at UH at large and resources built at the Pacific Center for Genome Research. Our interactive GR training program involves soft skills, research, and practical “on-the-degree” training and competencies, linked to the candidates' MS and Ph.D. degrees in genomics and/or related bioinformatics.

Genomic Workforce Development Core Milestones:

  1. Promote interests in genomic careers by supporting research endeavors of UGs and GRs.
  2. Design and implement a foundational genomic core training that focuses on various Next-Generation Sequencing workflows including capabilities to run and maintain sequencing and other core instruments.
  3. Ensure competencies in bench-top skills in order to produce high-quality data at each analytical step.
  4. Build professional and soft-skill competencies in our trainees to advance their careers in genomics.

Expected Outcomes for the Genomic Workforce Development Core:

  1. Our genomic UG and GR candidates will represent Underrepresented Populations, as potentiated by the unique position of cultural and ethnic diversity, represented strongly at UH and the state.
  2. Our genomic GR leaders (MS, Ph.D., and Post-Doctoral level) will diversify and strengthen genomic cores nationally and contribute to genomic research internationally.
  3. Our genomic GR leaders will, in turn, become strong leaders, supervisors, and mentors for others.

This training program will transition into a formal 1-year Graduate Certificate Program to meet the exponential growth in genomics and the present and future needs for a diverse workforce for genomic research and precision medicine.

The Specific Aims of the Genomic Workforce Development Core are:

Aim 1: Genomic education feeder pipeline. To initiate, identify, and support educational networks, both UG and GR, to develop a feeder pipeline for advancing Genomic skills.

Aim 2: On-the-degree genomic training. To strengthen and support post-graduate pathways into Genomic research.

Aim 3: Upskilling an advanced genomic workforce. To develop and promote an advanced workforce training platform to meet the current and future research and industrial needs in Genomics.