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Delaware State University establishes new DNA Core Center

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DOVER – Genome analysis has become the latest frontier of research exploration at Delaware State University with recent establishment of a Delaware Nucleotide Analysis (DNA) Core Center.

The University’s new DNA Core Center gives Del State researchers the capability to analyze an entire genome (also known as DNA – deoxyribonucleic acid) sample. It can be a genome sample from a wide variety of sources, such as bacteria, virus, plant, environment, and others.

The new DNA Core Center at Delaware Sttate University will be led by (L-r) Dr. Jung-lim Lee, center director, Dr. Kalpalatha Melmailee, Dr. Antonette Todd, Dr. Derrick Scott, and Ms. Gin Accumanno. | PHOTO COURTESY OF DELAWARE STATE UNIVERSITY

That capability has been made possible through a series of grants totaling $1.6 million awarded to Del State over the past eight years. Two grants totaling just over $1.1 million came from the USDA (2013 and 2018) and an additional grant of $518,881 came from the U.S. Department of Defense (2019).

Dr. Jung-lim Lee, associate professor in the Department of Human Ecology, is the principal investigator of all the grants and the director of the DNA Core Center. He said the funding enable the University to build the Center through the acquisition of an Illumina Sequencer, PacBio Sequencer and a sequencing library preparation system.

Dr. Lee said there are three purposes for the DNA Core Center:

  • Faculty and graduate students and post-doctorates can now be introduced to the genomic technology at the University. Genome studies can also be incorporated undergraduate science courses.
  • Seminars and workshop will offer faculty the opportunity to gain experience and competency in operating the genome technology. There will also be opportunities for faculty at other institutions of higher education and high school STEM instructors to gain knowledge from Del State about the technology.
  • The University hopes to offer a DNA sequencing service by the upcoming summer, through which genome analysis can be done for internal or external clients.

The DNA Core Center is currently operating in the Ag Annex Building; a new location will be renovated on the third floor of the Mishoe Science Center to house the Center later this year.

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