Comprehensive molecular analysis of biological systems at the genomic, epigenomic, transcriptomic, proteomic, and metabolomic levels, focused by integrative computational methods, and driven by strong clinical research capabilities, has the potential to provide a new view of the pathogenesis of chronic and pandemic human diseases and conditions.  This could also lead to innovative strategies for disease detection and intervention. While some major medical centers deploy subsets of the elements of such an interdisciplinary approach for disease research, few have all of the component parts, and very rarely in one physical setting.  The new Duke Molecular Physiology Institute (DMPI) represents exactly such an entity.  The breadth of 'omics technologies available in the DMPI can be bewildering to our potential collaborators.  Therefore, the mission of the new DMPI Storefront laboratory will be to guide collaborators and DMPI scientists in choosing specific technologies suitable for their projects, and to assist these same scientists with project design, integrative computational analysis, and interpretation of the 'omics data sets.  With the guidance of the Storefront Lab scientists, we hope to enhance the impact of new research investigations, ultimately facilitating development of new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for human disease.

The Storefront Laboratory has the following major goals: (1) to receive and evaluate inquiries from potential collaborators and work with them to design a detailed study plan; (2) when of particular scientific interest to DMPI, to assist potential collaborators with small pilot studies, leading to grant applications that incorporate DMPI resources and technologies; (3) to serve as project managers as samples enter the DMPI technology platforms, and as data is generated and deposited in data management systems;  (4) to engage DMPI faculty and staff for assistance in computational analysis of data; (5) to assist the collaborator in interpretation of data sets in a biological/disease context; (6) to educate and inform the research community  about DMPI, its suite of technologies, and the services of the Storefront Laboratory. 

The ultimate goal of the Storefront Laboratory is to engage, educate, guide, support, and encourage a wide array of basic scientists and clinical researchers in their collaborations with DMPI technology platforms. 

New project inquiries should be directed to the Storefront Laboratory through thomas.oconnell@dm.duke.edu