Initiative for Chemical Genetics (ICG)
Synthetic chemistry has enabled the creation of large collections of complex and diverse small molecules, patterned after natural products, which are tested for the ability to induce specific biological phenotypes. The NCIís Initiative for Chemical Genetics provides a systematic approach to study biology using such small molecules, to develop new screening tools and compounds, and to accelerate the development of new cancer strategies and therapies. As detailed below, the ICG focuses efforts on a number of deliverables, including biological assays, chemical libraries, a repository of chemical probes, and a scientific database. Discoveries made through the ICG program to date have resulted in more than 100 publications and 17 patents.
Biological Assays. To date, more than 130 unique, individual biological projects have been analyzed through the ICG. Many of these screens have been developed by external investigators using assistance and supplies provided by the ICG. All results are deposited into ChemBank no later than one year after the completion of the screen.
Chemical Synthesis. Since its inception, the ICG has synthesized more than 10,000 novel compounds. In addition, ICG staff members have enriched the breadth of compounds available for screening by creating recombinant libraries to produce unique natural products and acquiring additional compounds from external sources.
Scientific Database. ChemBank, an online database, includes chemical data on 700,000 small molecules, a subset of which have also been characterized further using additional assays. Investigators can use ChemBankís tools to query and analyze available data and export raw information for subsequent analysis. ChemBank thus enables researchers to identify promising drug candidates for further development and to gain new knowledge of human disease.
To learn more about the Initiative for Chemical Genetics (ICG), visit http://www.broad.harvard.edu/science/programs/chemical-biology/initiative-chemical-genetics.