ABRF Partners with GenomeWeb to Host 2016 Webinar Series

GW_ABRF_NEB_logoABRF and GenomeWeb are partnering on a series of online seminars highlighting methods, techniques, and instrumentation that support life science research.

The GenomeWeb/ABRF Webinar Series will feature eight webinar series held over the span of the next 12 months on the topics of: Genome Editing, Metagenomics, Proteomics, Core Lab/Admin Management, Imaging, and Single Cell Genomics. Content for each of the webinars is both based on and will expand on topics originating at the ABRF 2016 Annual Meeting, which was held in February in Ft. Lauderdale.

According to ABRF President, William Hendrickson, “The decision to partner with GenomeWeb provides ABRF with a unique opportunity to increase awareness of our activities and initiatives, while also providing GenomeWeb access to expanded educational and scientific content for GenomeWeb’s readership.”

The inaugural seminar, Three Lean Management Tools for the Life Science Lab, is scheduled for May 17 at 1:00 pm US Eastern Daylight Time.

This online seminar will provide a practical approach to implementing lean management tools in the life science laboratory. Unlike some management trends and tools, the scientific method is deeply engrained in lean management, making it an effective strategy for lab workflows. In this webinar, Robert Carnahan, associate professor of cancer biology at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, outlines three simple lean techniques that his team has implemented for project management, inventory and ordering, and equipment maintenance.  Attendees of this webinar will learn about specific tools to begin implementation in their own working environment.

ABRF thanks New England BioLabs for sponsoring the GenomeWeb/ABRF 2016 webinar series!

Best Practices for Core Facilities: Perspectives from the NIH, Vendors, and You.

imagesAs the ABRF 2016 Annual Meeting came to a close there was resounding discussion on best practices in science, data, and core facilities. As many learned by attending the two day ABRF Business Skills Workshop that preceded the ABRF Annual Meeting  in Ft. Lauderdale, there is a lot more that goes into running a core than just knowing the science associated with it. Simply put, running a core is a small business operation that must abide by higher oversight from not only the Institution to which it is associated, but also the NIH. With so much oversight and non-scientific aspects associated with running a core, the overarching question becomes, what are the best operational practices associated with running a core facility? Other questions follow such as: How can one run a core and still focus on the science at hand? How much of a business orientation should be required of the core director? What is expected of a core? Unfortunately, and given that there are so many variables that come into play, there is no one answer to these questions. The  NIH FAQ is key resource for understanding what a core facility is from the NIH perspective. Additional references provided below may be able to guide or help you to generate discussion to find solutions to those answers to help your Institution develop their stance on what a core facility is in general.

Immediately following the ABRF 2016 Annual Meeting, GenoLogics posted a blog to flag for core facility administrators four key aspects in being an efficient core facility: Be Different, Integrate, Automate, and Measure. Questions surrounding benchmarking also come into play when discussing best practices. Many of these benchmarking measures are offered through the iLab Solutions Bench Marking Surveys, which provide for a good starting point and a reference guide for you to build your own survey to understand those important measures in order to increase your cores sustainability.

For additional reading, the papers referenced below have been published throughout journals from our peers ranging from understanding technical challenges in a core to understanding how to best and safely work with External Customers in your core.

  1. K R Williams, R L Niece, D Atherton, A V Fowler, R Kutny and A J Smith (1988). The size, operation, and technical capabilities of protein and nucleic acid core facilities. The FASEB Journal.  2: 3124-3130.
  2. R L Niece, C M Beach, R F Cook, G M Hathaway and K R Williams (1991). State-of-the-art biomolecular core facilities: a comprehensive survey. The FASEB Journal.  5: 2756-2760.
  3. P Hockberger, S Meyn, C Nicklin, D Tabarini, P Turpen, and J Auger (2013) Best Practices for Core Facilities: Handling External Customers.  J Biomol Tech. 24: 87–97.
  4. Paula B. Turpen, Philip E. Hockberger, Susan M. Meyn, Connie Nicklin, Diane Tabarini, Julie A. Auger (2016)  Metrics for Success: Strategies for Enabling Core Facility Performance and Assessing Outcomes. J Biomol Tech. 2016 Apr; 27(1): 25–39.
  5. Michael Chang, Franziska B. Grieder (2016)  Sharing Core Facilities and Research Resources—An Investment in Accelerating Scientific Discoveries.  J Biomol Tech. 2016 Apr; 27(1): 2–3.