Presenter: Dr. Tilmann Buerckstuemmer, Director R&D, Horizon Discovery
Fifteen years after the completion of Human Genome Project, the function of many human genes remains elusive. One major obstacle for the study of human genes is the diploid nature of the genome: Inactivation of one allele is often insufficient to elicit a phenotype because the second (wild-type) allele can maintain gene function. Recently, near-haploid somatic cells were isolated from human patients and taken into culture. Insertional mutagenesis in these cells enables unbiased “yeast-like” genetic screening in human cells. Screens conducted so far have revealed host factors of viruses, elucidated the mechanism of action of bacterial toxins and uncovered the genes defective in rare inherited diseases. At Horizon Discovery, we employ haploid genetic screening to uncover the mechanism of action of drugs. The webinar will highlight the prerequisites of such genetic screens, show some examples of how they perform and discuss possible pitfalls.