Basic Biology of Aging at the University of Washington

Functional Genomics Core


This Core assists Center investigators in the application of Functional Genomics technologies to studies of the biology of aging, providing information at a scale and detail that would not otherwise be possible. The Core supports transcriptomics, proteomics and informatics technologies. Center use of expression arrays began 9 years ago; since then array densities have increased, but most importantly, informatics and statistical methods for their analysis are still improving and evolving. Recently, RNA-Seq technology has evolved to become feasible for expression analysis, supplementing or replacing microarrays. Proteomics was added to this Core 4 years ago, and during this time mass spectrometry (MS) analytical methods have also rapidly evolved. The needs of Center investigators have frequently required improvements in software analysis capabilities. The aims of this Core remain to provide support for discovery of the changes in 1) gene expression and translation and 2) protein composition and turnover that underlie the biology of aging. It will also 3) provide the informatics support necessary to successfully interpret this data.


The functional proteomics core is located between the K-wing of the University of Washington Health Sciences Complex and the WH Foege Building of Genome Sciences.  This core makes use of mass spectrometry space that was specifically designed for high performance instrumentation.  Currently there are six mass spectrometers in the Foege Mass Spectrometry lab that are accessible through the Nathan Shock Center.


Michael MacCoss, Director, is an analytical chemist with extensive experience in the application and development of proteomics technologies.

Dr. Richard Johnson, is a senior scientists with extensive mass spectrometry and protein chemistry experience.

Nick Shulman, is a senior software engineer who is developing software tools to simplify the process of analyzing and visualizing data collected within the core.

Dr. Dick Beyer, is a biostatistician with extensive experience in the analysis of gene expression and proteomics data.