Introduction to Biotechnology and Drug Development BIO 37 Michael G. Walker
Ph.D. Stanford University • Medical Computer Science • Dissertation on DNA sequence analysis • Consultant for Pharma & Biotech • Roche, Affymetrix, Incyte • Renovis, Expression Diagnostics, Genomic Health • Consulting Professor, Dept. of Medicine
30+ patents for disease-related genes and sequence analysis methods • 30+ publications • New England Journal of Medicine • Lancet • Genome Research • Gene Function and Disease • 3 FDA-approved New Drug Applications
What are genes? • Genes are the instructions on how to build humans, worms, viruses, and all life. • They are the control program, like software that runs a robot. • Genes direct the synthesis of proteins.
What do genes do? • Make our eyes blue or brown • Make peas green or yellow, smooth or wrinkled • Determine if we have head, arms, wings, tail, legs, brains • Determine what we eat • To a large degree, determine how we learn, behave, how & if we reproduce.
Every cell in our bodies contains the same genes as every other cell*. • Only some of our genes are turned on (expressed) in any tissue (muscle, brain). • Every human has the same set of genes as every other human*. * with a few exceptions
Each gene is slightly different between any two people*. • These differences change the instructions on exactly how to make a particular protein*. * with a few exceptions
What are proteins? • Some proteins are building blocks (structural components) • Some proteins catalyze or regulate the creation of other building blocks
Types of proteins • Structural proteins • Muscle, skin, cartilage • Regulatory proteins • Insulin, human growth hormone • Transport proteins • Hemoglobin, lung surfactants