University of Louisiana at Monroe, Department of Biology
Acquisition of Real-Time PCR and Gel Documentation Systems for ULM Biology
Shared Instrumentation (May 1, 2015 - April 30, 2016)
This shared equipment proposal submitted by ULM School of Sciences faculty represents a long-standing commitment among these biomedical research-active faculty to cooperate in the purchase and usage of high- end laboratory instrumentation. Indeed, we are fully cognizant of the fact that at a PUI the size of ULM, faculty research success is often critically tied to personal flexibility both in shared equipment usage schedules and in the selection of actual research problems that are pursued. The development of a common molecular biology equipment space has involved the concerted effort of all stakeholders and has resulted in the proposal of multiple novel research projects. As an example, we can cite ULM’s involvement as a Cohort I member of the HHMI SEA PHAGES program. Although neither of the faculty initially responsible for this program had a background in bacteriophage isolation and genome annotation, both recognized the unique opportunity afforded by the program’s goal of engaging beginning students in the research process. Our participation not only benefitted multiple student participants but has also resulted in a number of M.S.-level thesis projects, and faculty- and student-authored research papers. Our involvement has also elevated the visibility of ULM, in general, and the biology program specifically, and has resulted in our students being actively recruited by graduate and professional programs alike. ULM would not have had the opportunity to capitalize on the SEA PHAGES project if it were not for the availability of several previously-acquired shared equipment resources including a gel documentation system, adequate DNA gel electrophoresis equipment, large-capacity shaking incubators, and basic PCR units. Building upon this experience, we have continued to pursue additional funding opportunities to acquire shared equipment resources that can positively impact and grow the biomedical research presence within the School of Sciences. The RT-PCR and Gel Documentation systems requested in the current proposal represents the next step in the upgrade and further development of our shared equipment resources.