Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms
A fibroblast is the most common type of cell found in connective tissue. Fibroblasts secrete collagen proteins that are used to maintain a structural framework for many tissues. They also play an important role in healing wounds.
A fibroblast is a specific type of connective tissue cell that is found in skin and tendons and other tough tissues in the body. It secretes collagen. In genetics research, it's particularly important because it is a type of cell that is isolatable from people because it is a skin cell, and it can be grown in a laboratory and therefore examined for genotypes and some phenotypes particularly associated with diseases.
Name: Christopher P. Austin, M.D.
Occupation: Director, NIH Chemical Genomics Center (NCGC); Senior Advisor for Translational Research, Office of the Director
Biography: Dr. Austin's research focuses on development of reagents and technologies to translate genome sequence into functional insights. As director of the NIH Chemical Genomics Center (NCGC), part of a network of screening centers that produce chemical probes for use in biological research and drug development, Dr. Austin is spearheading a chemical genomics program that brings the power of small-molecule chemistry and informatics to the elucidation of gene function. Just as the Human Genome Project accelerated gene identification, this initiative promises to speed discoveries on gene function and lead to the development of new therapies for human disease.