Genomics is a field that integrates all the genetic information in a system to understand how it functions. For example, in humans, genomics has enabled us to understand that our health is a combination of our genetic makeup, as influenced by our environment, and by the microbes that live on our skin and occupy our gut. Today, the technology to sequence DNA has reached a tipping point—it is both fast and cheap—enabling new species to be sequenced at scale.
The Institute’s research program will use the modern tools of genomics as well as proteomics (the study of all the proteins in biological systems), to study important problems of fisheries and marine science in the North Atlantic Ocean.
The Ocean as Treasure Trove of Discovery
The ocean presents vast potential for discovery of unique biomolecules as, unlike land-based organisms, marine life exists in the extreme range of physical and chemical conditions constituting the ocean’s environment. Thus, many marine organisms—microbes, corals, plants, and animals—have the capacity to produce unique molecules that do not exist on land. Valuable new pharmaceuticals and other materials have been discovered in marine organisms, and GMGI will pursue programs and collaborations in this area of discovery.
GMGI is poised, by both its Gloucester location, its maritime culture and the expertise of its scientific founders, to build an eminent research institute that will take a leadership role in expanding the commercial applications of marine-derived molecules and materials. The research discoveries and the technologies developed through our work will likely result in inventions that will enable formation of startup companies based on the resulting intellectual property and innovations.
Research for Commercial Fisheries
GMGI will apply modern genomic technologies to the study of commercially important fish populations. We aim to bring the best science to the study of commercial fisheries and their ecosystems. These fisheries will continue to represent significant revenues and economic impact in the Cape Ann Region.
GMGI will build partnerships with local fishery organizations, to help direct and collaborate on research programs. In addition, grants will be sought from NOAA and NSF to fund research programs that address the questions pertinent to the health and survivability of this important industry.