Dr. Julie Aaron (above), assistant professor of chemistry, and Dr. Joseph Colosi (below), associate professor of biology, have been selected by The United States Department of Energy’s Joint Genome Institute (JGI) to collaborate in The Undergraduate Research Program in Microbial Genome Annotation. Only 26 participants were chosen from undergraduate institutions across the country.
DeSales University Selected for National Genome Research Program
Two Faculty Members to Collaborate with the U.S. Department of Energy
The United States Department of Energy’s Joint Genome Institute (JGI) has selected two DeSales University faculty members, Dr. Julie Aaron, assistant professor of chemistry, and Dr. Joseph Colosi, associate professor of biology, to collaborate in The Undergraduate Research Program in Microbial Genome Annotation. Only 26 participants were chosen from undergraduate institutions across the country.
The JGI’s Microbial Genome Annotation program provides faculty collaborators and their students access to recently sequenced microbial genomes. A genome is the complete set of an organism’s genetic material. The students analyze and annotate the genomes in the context of their own classwork, gaining hands-on knowledge of genomics and bioinformatics. The research experience provides students with a “real-world” opportunity to study the complete DNA sequences of microorganisms and make novel discoveries that enrich the scientific community as a whole.
“Collaborating with the JGI opens up unique research opportunities for our students, both inside and outside of the classroom,” said Aaron. “Involvement in this program will enable students to become proficient at using a variety of genomics and bioinformations tools. Meanwhile, their research will contribute to the national goal of sustainable energy generation.”
Colosi and Aaron will attend a workshop in January at the JGI in Walnut Creek, California, for orientation to the Integrated Microbial Genomes Annotation Collaboration Toolkit (IMG-ACT), a wiki/Web portal fusion that lets students and faculty work with existing genome datasets and record their discoveries. This toolkit will be how students annotate genomes in their own laboratory experiments. Students will then begin their work in the 2012-2013 academic year.
Since the Program launch in 2008, 4,662 students and 157 instructors from 83 institutions have used IMG-ACT. There will be 28 instructors from 16 institutions at the January 2012 workshop, bringing the total number of instructors to 175 and the total number of institutions to 99.
Supported by the Office of Biological and Environmental Research in the DOE Office of Science, the DOE JGI enables scientists from universities and national laboratories around the world to probe the hidden world of microbes and plants for innovative solutions to the nation’s major challenges in energy, climate, and environment.
The goal of JGI's Microbial Genome Annotation program is to support the use of annotation to teach curricular standards in new ways. In turn, the undergraduate collaborators provide the institute with valuable new annotation data, which assists it in filling in gaps in sequencing research.
Press Release: DeSales University Selected for National Genome Research Program | Posted on: 12/9/2011
For more info:
Tom McNamara, Executive Director of Communications
DeSales University | 2255 Station Avenue | Center Valley, PA 18034
610.282.1100 x1219 | Tom.McNamara@desales.edu