The GeneLab Core Facility provides molecular biology support, reagents and services to all Centerfor Experimental Infectious Disease Research (CEIDR) investigators. GeneLab sen/ices include general support and state-of-the art next generation sequencing (NGS) and bioinformatics support services. Of primary importance to all CEIDR faculty at Louisiana State University (LSU) and the Tulane National Primate Research Center (TNPRC) is the relatively new (one year) GeneLab state-of-the-art services, which are devoted to NGS and bioinformatics. These activities were started after consensus decisions were reached among CEIDR researchers that they were critically needed by ongoing NIH-funded research projects, as well as the entire Louisiana-based NIH-funded community. NGS equipment includes a Life Technologies, Inc. equipment suite with an Ion PGM and Ion Proton Sequencing Machines, as well as a Quant Studio Flex system equipped with digital PCR capabilities. GeneLab NGS activities are focused on confirmation and sequencing of viral and bacterial genomes, as well as the determination of pathogen and host transcriptional changes during host-pathogen interactions. Bioinformatics support services are provided through a collaboration with the Center for Computation and Technology (CCT), and the Louisiana Biomedical Research Network (LBRN), which is supported by the NIH: NIGMS INBRE grant P20GM103424. GeneLab is currently staffed with 5 PhD-level scientists, one research associate, two computer science graduate students and two undergraduate student workers. In addition, James Cavalcoli, PhD, Director of the Bionformatics Core at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor serves as a consultant providing expert advice and support, as well as a resource for state-of-the art bioinformatics knowledge. The GeneLab Core fulfills a highly unmet need in the State of Louisiana, since there is no other similar support Core laboratory in the state.GeneLab's efforts in NGS and bioinformatics are consistent with the NIH Director's roadmap, which emphasizes computational approaches to biology and in our infectious disease research.
GeneLab ams to provide 1) infrastructure support for funded investigators and new grant applications by listing GeneLab as a significant strength ofthe research environment at LSU-SVM and TNPRC;2) infrastructure, training and support for NGS experimentation and data analysis allowing for collection of preliminary data and develop new data-analytic methods to support current and new R01 applications.