The Translational Glycobiology Institute at Florida International University (TGIF) at Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine (HWCOM) embodies research activities that center on improving human health and disease through the knowledge of sugars. The study of sugars or “glycans,” referred to as glycobiology, is a rapidly growing area of science due to evolving theories that glycans participate in virtually all aspects of biology, health and disease. Translational glycobiology is a more focused glycoscience discipline on how to exploit human glycans for development of new and effective approaches to preventing and curing disease. This glycobiology discipline has emerged as an essential component in biomedical research institutions.
The TGIF not only provides a leadership role in translational glycoscience studies at HWCOM and FIU, but for other Florida research institutions and their glyco-science investigators. The TGIF is positioned to lead research efforts for translating a glycobiological observation in the laboratory to clinical practice. Ongoing studies by TGIF’s core research investigators on the structure and function of human glycans have unveiled new regulatory features that can maintain tissue homeostasis, improve the proficiency of immune responses, curtail immune disease or cancer progression, or serve as biomarkers of disease.