ABRF Announces Next Webinar: Experimental and Computational Standards in Metagenomics





This online seminar, part of the GenomeWeb/ABRF 2016 Webinar Series, will provide an overview of experimental and computational standards for metagenomics that have been developed as part of the Genomes in a Bottle standards consortium.

Please join Christopher Mason of Weill Cornell Medical College and Scott Tighe of the University of Vermont on June 7 at 1:00 pm EDT US for an overview of metagenomics standards that leverage a titrated mixture of known bacteria and eukaryotes. These have been sequenced across multiple next-generation sequencing platforms and characterized with ten different algorithms for taxonomic classification. The consortium members have also aggregated a set of 30 control samples for additional classification.

Dr. Mason and Dr. Tighe will report on a number of findings from the project, including the fact that sites of cross-algorithm agreement can lead to the most accurate estimate of the number of species from a new sample. They will also present an online resource for these tools, methods, and data sets; all of which are freely available. These methods and standards can help the many large-scale metagenomics projects around the world (and even some in space).

For more information and to register, please click HERE.

Metagenomics Research Group Gains White House Attention


Recently the ABRF Metagenomics Research Group (MGRG) was represented  at the recent White House meeting on the National Microbiome Initiative by three members of the MGRG; Samantha Joye from the University  of Georgia, Nick Greenfield of One Codex, Rita Colwell of the University of Maryland.. While our  involvement with the NMI is small, we are working especially hard to be recognized as a leader in advancing the science and techniques of metagenomics and microbiome analysis. Represented through discussion with Nick Greenfield of One Codex, one of the Extreme Microbiome Project (XMP) corporate partners, the ABRF MGRG, the XMP, and Chris Mason’s Metasub International consortium were highlighted as well recognized study groups.  It should be noted that the MGRG is somewhat different from other ABRF groups because of the affiliation with the XMP which engages participants from corporate, academia, and government and members from around the world. The RG has approximately 25 members and growing.

The National Microbiome Initiative is exciting as the US government recognizes the magnitude of metagenomics and microbiome research. There has been over 100 million dollars dedicated by several US  agencies as well a dozens of other institutes dedicating additional resources to study all aspects of metagenomics research  from collection techniques to bioinformatics tools.

You can read more about this initiative here.

Still Time to Register! Three Lean Management Tools For The Life Science Lab


Session: Three Lean Management Tools for the Life Science Lab

Date: May 17, 2016

Time: 1:00 pm EDT USA

Please don’t delay! Register today!

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.

Scheduling conflict? You can still participate! All registrants will receive a link to view an on-demand recording of the event.

About the GenomeWeb/ABRF 2016 Webinar Series: GenomeWeb has partnered with the Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities to produce a series of online seminars highlighting methods, techniques, and instrumentation that support life science research. More information about ABRF and its activities is available here. Please check GenomeWeb’s webinar schedule for future webinars in this series. The series is sponsored by New England BioLabs.

Questions? Contact genomewebinars@genomeweb.com

ABRF through the Eyes of a Greenhorn

ABRF through the Eyes of a Greenhorn

An interview by Nicole White


Tim Hunter with students, Diana Cardero and Sandra Davis and at ABRCMS 2015 (Left to Right)

 It was November 2015 and Sandra Davis had no idea what a core facility was, that is until she met Tim Hunter. The chance meeting took place when Sandra, an undergraduate student at Jarvis Christian College in Hawkins, Texas, attended the 2015 Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) in Seattle, Washington to present her current research at a poster session. Tim, who is the warmest, most hospitable individual a person can meet, was participating in the ABRCMS meeting as an ambassador for the ABRF / FASEB MARC Travel Award recipients. It was during the ABRCMS meeting that Tim invited Sandra to attend the 2016 ABRF Annual Meeting in Ft. Lauderdale, which Sandra had never heard of nor did she know anything about ABRF.

“It was awesome.” said Sandra as I was interviewing her on the phone. “My school is small so I didn’t know a lot or have a lot of experience with cores before ABRF.”  Sandra is set to graduate from Jarvis Christian College this May, and following graduation she will be pursuing a Master’s degree in the Fall. However, she is leaving all doors and options open to her career path for medical school or even in pursuing a PhD after her Masters.  “I’m not sure which avenue to choose, but seeing all of the core facility information opened my eyes as to how cores help research,” said Sandra.

Sandra and Diana teaching Tim how to do the ‘Water Sprinkler’.

Selected as a 2015 ABRCMS ABRF Best Poster Award / 2016 FASEB MARC Travel Award winner, along with Diana Cardero,  Sandra’s research was on the drug compound Benzofuan-2-barvoxylic acid and its effects on cancer Tk6 cells, and  she was excited to see that this compound in her research shows promise on the compounds abilities to target cancer cells while keep the healthy cells around it viable. Though her research sounds exciting and promising, Sandra stated the most impressionable memory of her experience at ABRF was teaching Tim how to do the ‘Water Sprinkler’. I guess we’ll have to try to find some video or images of that for our next blog post!

In all seriousness, Sandra was impressed with the ABRF 2016 Annual Meeting. Despite a relatively few number of undergraduate students in attendance, Tim made sure to introduce her to many of the attendees, and from these introductions, Sandra now has a network of professionals working  in cores, which has allowed her to  develop more connections and access to research. Overall, the ABRF 2016 Annual Meeting met Sandra’s expectations; however, she would like to see more undergraduate and early graduate level students in attendance, and suggests that the ABRF Mentoring Program would be a great fit for individuals like her who are just getting familiar with ABRF. Sandra plans to attend future ABRF meetings, and I certainly look forward to seeing her in the future as well.

ABRF 2017 Annual Meeting Site Visit

In preparation for the ABRF 2017 Annual Meeting, we had the incredible opportunity to visit San Diego and preview the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center (host hotel), as well as several of San Diego’s attractions and points of interest.

Town_Country_Exterior_Signature Shot_Grand HallThe Town and Country Resort & Convention Center is an easy 10 minute ride from the San Diego International Airport. For those arriving by car, there is ample parking, but daily charges will apply. For those traveling from the airport, there are plenty of commercial shuttles and cabs available for hire.

The Town and Country Resort & Convention Center features hotel rooms that are California casual and many will have been newly renovated when ABRF meeting attendees check in next March. The resort also features the Bella Tosca Day Spa & Salon, a 14,000 square foot Mediterranean-style Day Spa, Salon and Fitness Center, as well as an outdoor swimming pool. For the foodies in ABRF, the resort offers a diverse range of dining choices, from the California cuisine in the beach house setting of Terrace Café to Charlie’s Sports-Beer-BBQ. Charlie’s, which has been recognized as simply the best Mission Valley dining experience in San Diego, offers locally crafted brews, slow-roasted chicken, ribs and pork in a casual sports bar atmosphere. For those traveling with family members, rest assured that they would have plenty to do while you are attending the meeting.

With direct access to the light‐rail trolley that stops just steps away from the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center, an all-day sd_coastline2ticket will provide direct and convenient transportation to The Gaslamp Quarter, the USS Midway Museum, and Seaport Village. The Town and Country Resort & Convention Center is also just a short drive away from SeaWorld, the San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, LEGOLAND®, Mission Bay Park and the cliff-lined beaches of San Diego.

With all that San Diego has to offer, and with plans for an outstanding program already in the works by the 2017 Program Committee, we encourage you to mark your calendar for the ABRF 2017 Annual Meeting, March 25-28, and we look forward to seeing you in San Diego!

Susan Meyn, Chair, 2017 Program Committee
Allis Chien, Executive Board Liaison to the 2017 Program Committee
Susan DeCourcey, Executive Director
Roya Jaseb, FASEB, OSMC

ABRF Executive Board Seeks Members as Consultants for Research Group Study Proposals

Under current ABRF policy, all Research Group Study Proposals are reviewed by the Executive Board prior to implementation. Over the past ten years, ABRF has expanded to include a wider array of technologies. As a result, situations may arise where the current EB members have limited backgrounds in a specific research technology area, making a comprehensive scientific review difficult. To ensure each Research Group Study Proposal receives a well-rounded review, the Executive Board would like a pool of consultants from which to solicit opinions during the approval process. All ABRF members interested in being added to the list can do so by sending an email to abrf@abrf.org with the following information:

Subject line:  RG Study Proposal Consulting List
Body of the email:
– Your name
– Organization
– Title
– General area of expertise (genomics, proteomics, light microscopy, flow, etc.)
– Specific area of expertise (NGS, MS, confocal microscopy, iCRISPR, etc.)

Thank you in advance for making yourself available on an RG Study Consultant list.

ABRF Executive Board
William Hendrickson, President
Paula Turpen, Treasurer
Frances Weis-Garcia, President-Elect
Christopher Colangelo, Treasurer-Elect
Julie Auger
Allis Chien
Andrew Chitty
Peter Lopez