EMD Millipore Release: Researchers Introduce Approach and Definition of Genetic Complexity  
7/17/2012 12:05:44 PM

Billerica, MA—July 17, 2012— EMD Millipore, the Life Science division of Merck KGaA of Darmstadt, Germany has developed a definition to further understand identification of specific network elements and sub-networks on genetic complexity

Who: Life Science thought leaders: Authors Ethan Greene Thompson, PhD and EMD Millipore’s Timothy Galitski, PhD.

Timothy Galitski earned his PhD in the University of Utah's Department of Biology where he identified mechanisms of chromosome rearrangement and studied the origin of genetic variation. His research earned him the 1996 James W. Prahl Memorial Award for the Outstanding Graduate Student at the University of Utah Medical Center. With a fellowship from the Helen Hay Whitney Foundation, Dr. Galitski went on to a postdoctoral position at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and the Whitehead/MIT Center for Genome Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts. There he combined functional genomics, genetics, and computational methods to reveal global patterns of gene expression specifying cell type and developmental potential in yeast. For this continuing work, Dr. Galitski was awarded the prestigious 2001 Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award in the Biomedical Sciences. In 2000, he took a faculty position at the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle where he has been a pioneer in the field of quantitative systems genetics. Dr. Galitski is Head of Science & Technology in the Bioscience Business Unit of EMD Millipore, and he remains an Affiliate Professor at the Institute for Systems Biology.

Ethan Greene Thompson earned his PhD in Physics from the University of Washington in the String/Particle Theory Group where he was awarded the Karrer award for Outstanding graduate student in physics. Upon graduating, he transitioned into the fields of computational biology and bioinformatics as a postdoc at the Institute for Systems Biology. He is currently a Bioinformatics Research Specialist at the Seattle Biomedical Research Institute.

What: There are no simple rules for how combinations of gene sequence variants affect traits, including health and disease traits. In other words, the mapping of genotype to phenotype is complex. The unraveling of this complexity is confounded by the lack of means to quantify it. By exactly defining and quantifying genetic complexity, researchers at EMD Millipore and the Institute for Systems Biology have enabled the systematic study of how genotype maps to phenotype. The researchers showed how these advances allow one to pinpoint genes that make the greatest contributions to genetic complexity. By identifying such genes, researchers can focus their efforts to understand how to predict health and disease outcomes from genome sequences.

When: July 2012

Where: Quantifying and Analyzing the Network Basis of Genetic Complexity, PLoS Computational Biology PCOMPBIOL-D-11-01566R3)

Why: As a lead supplier of tools, technology and products in the life sciences industry, EMD Millipore is committed to working with its customers to provide innovative, next generation solutions within the full spectrum of research, development and production. Within the organization’s Bioscience business unit, scientists are focusing on furthering research in the areas of t physiologically predictive cellular analysis, multianalyte network elucidation and functional genomics with platforms for advanced cell culture, simplified cell health assessment, handheld cell counting, benchtop flow cytometry and quantitative image analysis.

For more information or to request an interview, please contact Jennifer Bianco, Director, External Communications at or 781-308-5152.

About EMD Millipore

EMD Millipore is the Life Science division of Merck KGaA of Germany and offers a broad range of innovative, performance products, services and business relationships that enable our customers' success in research, development and production of biotech and pharmaceutical drug therapies. Through dedicated collaboration on new scientific and engineering insights, and as one of the top three R&D investors in the Life Science Tools industry, EMD Millipore serves as a strategic partner to customers and helps advance the promise of life science.

Headquartered in Billerica, Massachusetts, the division has around 10,000 employees, operations in 67 countries and 2011 revenues of EUR 2.4 billion. EMD Millipore is known as Merck Millipore outside of the U.S. and Canada.

Note: Merck KGaA or Merck shall mean Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany