APRIL 19, 2012
There have been a large number of changes in BioMicro to catch you up on in several different areas since my last newsletter. First, I need to begin by introducing Shmulik Motola, our new lab manager. Shmulik has been on board for several months now and is coordinating the flow of projects through the lab. Shmulik did his graduate work at the Weizmann Institute and was a Postdoctoral Associate in Dr. Ernest Fraenkel’s lab here at MIT. Shmulik is the go to person for questions you have about the status of your projects, Illumina queue times, etc. and can also help you with experimental design (email@example.com)
Second, we have expanded our equipment repertoire with the purchase of a Sage BluePippin preparative electrophoresis system (http://www.sagescience.com/bluepippin/). The Pippin prep is an automated system for extracting bands from agarose gels. We are currently testing the system out and will be deploying it to several of our Illumina library preparation methods. We’re planning to use it as part of the RNAseq methodology to provide much tighter size distributions than the SPRIworks can manage. In addition, high percentage agarose gels should enable us to begin to offer library preparation for small RNA sequencing (contact Shmulik if you would like to volunteer for our beta). Because the BluePippin has a pulse field feature, it should also be useful for building jumping libraries as well as isolating fragments for the new “long read” sequencing technologies, such as Oxford Nanopore. Of course, the Pippin prep is also available for your more “mundane” chores such as isolating bands for cloning.
Finally, our BioInformatics team has had a major overhaul. Dr. Fugen Li left MIT at the end of last year and has been replaced by Dr. Ryan Abo from the Mayo Clinic and Dr. Vincent Butty from Dr. Chris Burge’s lab. Both bring with them years of experience and, along with Dr. Huiming Ding, are available to help with any informatics challenges you have in your research, especially those related to sequencing. In addition to providing direct research support, we are looking forward to offering short classes on informatics beginning in the summer or fall. We’re in the planning stages now so if you have ideas on subjects you would like us to cover, please let us know.