Acquisition of Equipment for a Molecular Genetics Core Facility for Research and Research Training in Conservation Genetics and Molecular Ecology
9871024 Lisette P. Waits University of Idaho Acquisition of Equipment for a Molecular Genetics Core Facility for Research and Research Training in Conservation Genetics and Molecular Ecology This proposal supplies funds to equip a Molecular Genetics Core Facility for research and training in the fields of conservation genetics and molecular ecology. This facility will support a strong interdisciplinary program in conservation biology, ecology, and natural resource management at the University of Idaho. Natural resources sciences have reached a new era in basic and applied research that requires the use of molecular genetic tools to address specific questions that are critical for these fields. The rapid advancement in molecular biology techniques and invention of automated DNA sequencing and genotyping has enormously increased the productivity, accuracy, and safety of these techniques. The result of this advancement is the opening of an exciting new realm of research directions in the fields of conservation genetics, molecular ecology, molecular systematics, and molecular pathology. The goals of this equipment grant are to develop a Molecular Genetics Core Facility to expand and explore research directions by 1) improving research capabilities, 2) developing a new level of interdisciplinary collaboration, and 3) providing new research training and educational opportunities in the areas of conservation genetics, molecular ecology, molecular systematics, and molecular pathology. Three principal investigators, seven affiliated faculty, and numerous graduate and undergraduate students will initially share the proposed research facility. The three principal investigators have strong backgrounds in molecular genetic research and span the major disciplines of the College - plant, animal, and fisheries sciences. The seven affiliated faculty members have less molecular genetic experience, but propose to expand their research to incorporate molecular methods when this facility is established. The inclusion of the affiliated faculty greatly expands the interdisciplinary breadth of researchers using the facility and is important for achieving our goal of providing new research training opportunities for faculty and students who have had little exposure to molecular genetic methods.