Omics is a common term for a number of large scale analytical techniques for global assessment of the state of biological material. It can be subdivided in genomics, proteomics, glycomics, lipidomics and metabolomics.
Omics approaches are becoming increasingly important for biochemistry research and production such as the pharmaceutical and food industries. The approach first and foremost seeks to describe the full situation in a given biological system and therefore yields results that are not obtainable with traditional reductionist methods within the field of biochemistry or molecular biology.
Denmark has a strong research tradition within several omics disciplines. Research groups in glycomics, lipidomics and membrane biophysics are present at the University of Southern Denmark, and a center for metabolomics has been established at the Copenhagen University. Danish scientists within proteomics and have been pioneers in developing mass spectrometry based proteomics. Proteomics is now an important activity in most Danish Universities and all the activities are linked in a strong national network that also includes major Danish biotech and pharma companies, some of which have important activities in China.
Since the turn of the century the Chinese government has invested forcefully in establishing advanced research environments and now has state-of-the-art facilities, laboratories and equipment, as well as some of the most accomplished scientists in the world. The progression has been rapid, and in some fields, for instance genomics, the competences and equipment of the Chinese institutes are unmatched.
SDC PhD students play an important role in the research collaboration. They all work with both a Danish and a Chinese supervisor, do research in both countries and contribute to teaching the Master’s programmes at SDC in Beijing. This close connection provides the PhD students with a unique opportunity to establish personal and professional relationships and bring Danish and Chinese research environments closer together.