The Dunham lab in the YRC is interested in developing technologies for understanding the functional consequences of protein variation in yeast and human. We are currently part of a group of YRC labs studying a panel of very diverse yeast strains collected from around the globe. These strains have been subjected to a battery of high throughput assays, including gene expression, proteomics, metabolomics, and microscopy characterization. From these data, we hope to learn about variation at the phenotype level and develop new technologies to connect back to sequence variation. Given the difficulties in making similar genotype-phenotype connections in complex diseases, we hope our model system will help inform approaches in humans. Since much of this approach relies on next generation sequencing, we have focused on developing methods and collaborations using DNA sequencing data.
We are also interested in improving yeast culture technologies to provide better control over growth parameters. As part of this project, we are developing an inexpensive, small footprint fermenter array. We are seeking collaborators interested in using this device.