Advances in genomics and proteomics have provided molecular and cell biology with an ever-expanding understanding of the “nuts and bolts” of life — the genes and proteins that encode and orchestrate the activities of cells, tissues and organ systems of living organisms. These molecules construct and regulate normal metabolism, communication, repair and growth — all the functions essential for life and health. In parallel, laboratory studies have revealed many of the underlying mechanisms of disease — mutated genes and altered proteins that hijack normal biological processes to promote malignant transformation in cancer; and inflammatory responses that contribute to cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Now the challenge is to develop technologies and methods to allow us to continually apply emerging knowledge from the research laboratory to the living organism, including patients, allowing us to ask the same questions, query the same molecules.
What do we need to image?
What do we need to measure?
How do we image and measure it?
The Crump Institute develops innovative technology to decipher the transformations from health to disease at the molecular level. We focus on creating new approaches to observe, measure, and understand molecular processes in cells, tissues and the organ systems throughout the living organism, through molecular diagnostics — measurement of critical biological events within the body by analyzing cells, tissues and blood, and by molecular imaging — taking “pictures” of the living chemistry of cells in the body in health and disease. Our ultimate objective is to provide medicine with new science and technologies to judge the state of health, and identify the early transitions to disease for the development and use of new therapies as part of the new era in molecular medicine.