About Us

The Alberta Transplant Applied Genomics Centre (ATAGC) is a research centre and core service facility with multidisciplinary expertise spanning the areas of applied genomics, pathology, molecular biology, immunology, biostatistics, and experimental design. In addition to our research, we provide advice and services to other researchers at the University of Alberta and elsewhere.

Our mission is:
To improve human health care by applying molecular understanding to human disease, and specifically by studying the molecular changes in human tissue biopsies.

Our goals are:
  • To develop our understanding of disease phenotypes and mechanisms.
  • To reclassify disease states and outcomes.
  • To intervene effectively to prevent progressive organ failure in transplants and in primary organ diseases.
The ATAGC is led by Dr. Philip Halloran, a renowned clinical and research nephrologist, and was established by a Genome Canada grant along with investments from the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, Alberta Health Services, Canada Foundation for Innovation, Alberta Advanced Education and Technology, and several pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

What we do:
  • The ATAGC examines the molecular phenotype of disease states in humans and relevant animal models in relationship to conventional phenotyping like histology and diagnostic imaging.
  • Biopsies from patients with organ disease are the principal point where the molecular phenotype meets the conventional phenotype.
  • We take a multidisciplinary approach to explore the molecular basis of disease phenotypes. We have analyzed thousands of biopsy samples from humans and animals using high‐throughput gene expression technology like microarrays, histology, antibody studies, and outcomes.
Our current focus is on organ transplants such as kidney, heart, liver, and lung; however, we are successfully applying insights into primary organ diseases. Biopsies of diseases such as hepatitis C, inflammatory bowel diseases, heart and lung diseases, progressive renal disease, inflammatory bowel disease, skin diseases, and cancer are very instructive.