Biology is undergoing a revolution, driven by the availability of whole-genome sequence information for many organisms and the development of associated high-throughput genomic technologies. The use of such genomic technologies will shed light on a wide range of important research questions, from how cells grow, differentiate and evolve to the medical challenges of pathogenesis, antibiotic resistance and cancer, from agricultural issues of plant and animal breeding and pesticide resistance to the biotechnological challenges of drug discovery and the remediation of environmental contamination. The ultimate goal of functional and community genomics is to use genome sequence information and related genomic technologies to link sequences with functions and phenotypes and to understand how biological systems at different levels of function in nature. Therefore, functional and community genomics face the following major challenges:
- Defining gene function
- Delineating gene regulatory networks
- System-level understanding of biological systems beyond individual cells
- Computational simulation of biological systems
To address the above scientific challenges in microbial functional and community genomics and promote the development of biotechnology, mission of IEG is to advance scientific research and education in environmental genomics and stimulate bio-economic development in the State of Oklahoma.