University of Georgia

Sweet science

University of Georgia researcher Will York
Will York (Photo by Amy Ware)

With the help of $10 million from the National Institutes of Health, researchers at UGA and George Washington University will put “big data” to work in understanding sugar chains.

Currently, understanding the roles that glycans play in diseases such as cancer involves extensive literature-based research and manual collection of data from disparate databases and websites. The NIH grant will support creation of a glycoscience informatics portal, “GlyGen,” that will integrate glycan data with gene and protein data to allow for more effective analysis.

“It is impossible to do meaningful glycobiology research without including information from many different disciplines, including genomics, proteomics, cell biology, developmental biology and biochemistry, to name just a few,” says co-principal investigator William York, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and a researcher in UGA’s Complex Carbohydrate Research Center.

This brief appeared in the fall 2018 issue of  Research Magazine. The original press release is available at