The mission of the Center for Environmental Genetics (CEG) is to study gene-environment (GxE) interactions, in response to chronic and/or acute exposure(s) to environmental agents across human lifespan, and their ensuing impact on the development of human disease and disability, with the ultimate aim of improving individual and population health. To accomplish this mission, our research requires high-end, cutting-edge technologies in environmental health sciences (EHS). The purpose of the CEG Integrative Technologies Support (ITS) Core is to furnish CEG members with the latest technologies in a manner that enhances research output, increases cost effectiveness, and maximizes the impacts of Center research. The ITS uses a model of providing direct subsidies for members to use leading-edge technologies in existing core facilities. The Core is structured to have maximum flexibility to change and adapt to new needs in EHS research as well as further technological advances. The inclusion of existing facilities in the ITS Core is based on usage, quality of services, technological novelty/investigative power, and services, in line with the vision of the CEG to integrate fundamental, translational, and clinical EHS research for the improvement of human health through cleaner environments. Facilities can be added or removed based on the aforementioned criteria.
Aim 1 is to make state-of-the art specialized services available and affordable to Center members through subsidies and expert consultation. The components of the ITS Core are comprised of selected established facilities. CEG members can request matching funds for the use of these services as well as for methods development.
Aim 2 is to ensure high-quality innovative technological support for members through the annual evaluation of usage, customer satisfaction of service, and the ?right? composition of the ITS Core. The demand for a specific facility service changes based on the needs of the investigators or the exceptionality of the new technology. To remain nimble and up to date, components of the ITS Core will be evaluated annually by an evaluation committee.
Aim 3 is to promote awareness of new technologies among current CEG investigators and assist in the recruitment of new members to the Center. The ITS Core will sponsor workshops and seminars on the technologies/services and educate and inform users on how these modern technologies can enhance research. The ITS Core is designed to be a nimble, fast, and fair system of subsidized usage of the latest technologies. It also seeks to encourage established facilities to develop new technologies meeting the needs of CEG members. The currently provided services include next-generation sequencing for research in genomics and epigenomics, proteomics, genotyping, in vivo genome editing, and flow cytometry. New technologies in development include single-cell genomics, and mitochondriomics. The ITS Core stimulates integration by bringing together our experts to develop transdisciplinary crosstalk, make connections, build a network of experts, and increase the quality of EHS research locally and around the world.
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