DURHAM, N.H. University of New Hampshire researchers will have two new instruments a DNA sequencer and a computer cluster capable of modeling space weather to advance their work, thanks to two National Science Foundation (NSF) Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) grants to the university. The grants, totaling $1.35 million, will facilitate research in UNH's Hubbard Center for Genome Studies and the Space Science Center in the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space (EOS), as well as other departments and centers.
"This is cutting-edge equipment," says UNH senior vice provost for research Jan Nisbet. "A genome sequencer and a supercomputer will allow us to conduct nationally and internationally relevant, high-impact research."
UNH received $815,000 for an Illumina HiSeq 2000 DNA sequencer the largest MRI grant the university has ever received. The grant comes amid advances in DNA-sequencing technology that have been fueled by interest in personal genomics.
"The unintended consequence of that sea change in technology is that it has had an impact on such a broad spectrum of biology and especially in areas where UNH excels, such as environmental biology and ecology," says W. Kelley Thomas, professor of biochemistry and director of UNH's Hubbard Center for Genome Studies, who spearheaded the grant proposal. "I think the real reason we won the award is the overall strength of the faculty in those areas."
The DNA sequencer will help researchers answer questions about emerging diseases, consequences of environmental change (including global warming and land development), conservation of threatened species, cleanup of oil spills, and agricultural practices. It will contribute to research and training in 16 UNH laboratories over the next five years, supporting the work of 237 undergraduates, 65 graduate students and 29 postdoctoral fellows. Currently, UNH faculty must use instruments at labs across the country,
|Contact: Beth Potier|
University of New Hampshire