First, I’d like to thank you all for your warm welcome. For those whom have not heard, I am the new Director of the BioMicro Center. I have come to MIT from the Whitehead, where I was a research scientist in Rick Young’s lab after having done my graduate work at Harvard with Bob Kingston, and have done extensive work studying gene regulation in eukaryotes. I look forward to working with you all in helping bring high-throughput technologies and genomics to what I hope will be a very broad array of projects here at MIT.
We are moving very quickly to reinvigorate the BioMicro Center. One of the new technologies that we are now rolling out is massively parallel sequencing using the Illumina/Solexa sequencer. Our preliminary runs with this machine have been very successful and we are now opening the machine up to the rest of the core departments. Currently, we are planning to run the machine about once a week to be sure we have time for troubleshooting and developing our data analysis pipelines. If you are interested in running samples on the Solexa sequencer, please send me an email or call me so I can give you more details on the sequencing process.
In addition to high-throughput sequencing, several other large changes are underway. We are currently laying the groundwork for a renovation of the BioMicro lab space to make more room to bring in new technologies. We are also planning to completely rework the BioMicro website to both bring it up to date, and to make it much more useful to the users of the BioMicro Center. The new website will be built as a wiki where we hope to include not only information about the technology and pricing, but also information about protocols and analysis that should help new users.
Finally, for all of these high throughput and genomic technologies, handling these large data sets can be a daunting task. We are working on ways to establish significant bioinformatics capabilities in the BioMicro Center both in possibly hiring additional staff and in facilitating collaborations. I have spent much of the last four years doing bioinformatics myself and look forward to helping build up this aspect of our support in a way that serves the needs of the labs that support the BioMicro Center.
Thank you again for your warm welcome. In order to get a better understanding of the types of experiments that everyone is doing, and to help me focus the BioMicro center in ways that can help with on going and future projects, I am very interested in meeting you all personally. I have already talked with many people about several different technologies that could be very interesting additions to the BioMicro Center and I hope to meet with as many of you as I can over the next couple of months as I get my bearings. My door is always open and I hope to be chatting with you all soon.