J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 75:529-538 doi:10.1136/jnnp.2003.026260
  • Neuroscience for neurologists

Functional genomics and proteomics: application in neurosciences

  1. K E Wilson1,
  2. M M Ryan5,
  3. J E Prime2,
  4. D P Pashby2,
  5. P R Orange2,
  6. G O’Beirne3,
  7. J G Whateley3,
  8. S Bahn4,
  9. C M Morris1
  1. 1MRC Building, Newcastle General Hospital, Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  2. 2Amersham Biosciences, Little Chalfont, Buckinghamshire, UK
  3. 3Amersham Biosciences, Whitechurch, Cardiff, UK
  4. 4Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, UK
  5. 5Department of Neurobiology, Babraham Institute, Cambridge, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr C M Morris
 Institute of Human Genetics, International Centre for Life, Central Parkway, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4BZ, UK;
  • Received 20 August 2003
  • Accepted 28 November 2003
  • Revised 27 November 2003


The sequencing of the complete genome for many organisms, including man, has opened the door to the systematic understanding of how complex structures such as the brain integrate and function, not only in health but also in disease. This blueprint, however, means that the piecemeal analysis regimes of the past are being rapidly superseded by new methods that analyse not just tens of genes or proteins at any one time, but thousands, if not the entire repertoire of a cell population or tissue under investigation. Using the most appropriate method of analysis to maximise the available data therefore becomes vital if a complete picture is to be obtained of how a system or individual cell is affected by a treatment or disease. This review examines what methods are currently available for the large scale analysis of gene and protein expression, and what are their limitations.


  • Competing interests: Mr Pashby and Drs Prime, Orange, O’Beirne, and Whateley are employees of Amersham Biosciences plc who manufacture and distribute reagents and equipment relating to some of the systems referenced in this paper, and as such may be regarded as having a potential interest. Dr Morris is in receipt of grant funding from Amersham Biosciences plc.

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