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Past Research
Data mining to reveal potentially novel genes and biological processes involved in the pain response
DNA microarrays are a new and promising biotechnology which allow the monitoring of expression levels in cells for thousands of genes simultaneously. To characterise the molecular events underlying neuropathy and its chronic pain, the London Pain Consortium is using microarrays to monitor expression of genes in the DRG and spinal cord tissues in animal pain models. It is the aim of this project to explore expression data generated by microarrays to investigate the molecular signature of neuropathic pain. Specifically, different approaches to clustering microarrays expression data aiming at grouping genes with similar expression pattern will be investigated and ultimately assessed using biological information. Functional annotation of the genes being studied will be a further aim to the project in order to make the validation of clustering efforts possible and provide clues to function of those genes relevant to the pathology being studies as identified by the analysis of microarray data. The project will also aim to build a database facility which will store descriptions of microarray experiments conducted by the consortium, the outcome of the datamining analysis as well as the functional annotation of genes of interest. A final target to the project will be to assess one of the technical limitations of microarray technology which consists of the limitation in the amount of extracted RNA. In this regard, amplifying RNA target for microarray profiling will be assessed.