Conducting Research in the CBFG I: Video Transcript

Luis Actis, PhD [Chair, Microbiology]: Hi, my name is Dr. Luis Actis. I am the chair of the Department of Microbiology and director of the Center for Bioinformatics and Functional Genomics.

Narrator: Bioinformatics uses computer technology to analyze biological data, such as DNA or protein sequences. Genomics focuses on large DNA sequences for things like genetic mapping. These exciting research fields have many practical applications, including DNA testing and disease diagnosis and treatment.

Faculty and students from Botany, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Geology, Microbiology and Zoology use our facility. What sets us apart is that our undergraduate and graduate students perform most of the work that takes place here. We provide training and hands-on experience to any student, whether they are experienced researchers or conducting their very first research project. In fact, some local high school students have conducted their own genomic research projects at CBFG.

The core activity of the center is to analyze DNA sequences. We have all the resources necessary to prepare high quality DNA samples and to analyze one sample at a time or hundreds of samples at once.

One of our newest pieces of equipment is commonly used in forensic science laboratories and was even featured in CBS TV's CSI Miami. The center has a fully automated robotic system that can be programmed to process very large sets of samples. We also have instruments that allow us to analyze the quantity and purity of DNA, even when we only have a small sample. Other resources are available for gene expression and protein analysis research. Interpretation of some results can be very complex, so we provide training and consultation in these areas as well.

Luis Actis: This is a great Miami University center in which students, particularly undergraduate students, have a unique opportunity to work together with faculty and researchers, addressing very important and central biological issues and using state-of-the-art technology, which is used all around the world.

[January 2011]