Epigenomics studies epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation and modifications to histone proteins that regulate high-order DNA structure and gene expression that are involved in the development of many diseases, including cancer. Epigenomics is a rapidly growing field with promising implications for treatment of cancer and potentially other diseases. Research interest in epigenomics has exploded in recent years, and considerable progress has been made in the commercialisation of discoveries in this field.
Functional genomics focuses on the dynamic aspects such as gene transcription, translation, and protein-protein interactions, to describe gene (and protein) functions and interactions. With the help of high-throughput methods it attempts to answer questions about the function of DNA at the levels of genes, RNA transcripts, and protein products.
Proteomics aims at large-scale gathering of information about proteins, their distribution, structure, interactions and, ultimately, function. Such data is crucial in order to better understand the functioning of living organisms. In humans, the information can be used to design better diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. The success of proteomics as a high-throughput technique was made possible by the availability of constantly developed instrumentation that allows the automatic analysis of thousands of samples with high accuracy in short time.
We are essentially made of proteins and our genetic machinery consists of nucleic acids. The way proteins and nucleic acids interact with each other and with other molecules are determined by their three-dimensional (3D) structure. Structural genomics aims at describing the 3D structure of every protein encoded by a given genome which is essential for elucidating protein function and for rational drug design and for understanding the dynamics of the living systems. This approach allows for a high-throughput method of structure determination by a combination of experimental and modelling approaches.