ABRF Recognizes Volunteers During National Volunteer Week and Encourages All Members to Volunteer

Dear ABRF Members:

In recognition of National Volunteer Week, and on behalf of your Executive Board and Executive Director, Susan DeCourcey, I thank every one of our members for their continued commitment to the ABRF and all the volunteer work you do to support the advancement of core and research biotechnology laboratories. Your contributions of time, expertise and enthusiasm ensure the continued success of fulfilling on the ABRF’s mission, vision and goals. The work of the ABRF would not be possible without you!

If you are not currently active in the ABRF, one great way to network with your fellow ABRF members and to further develop your career is to participate in one of the various activities undertaken by your association.  Given the breadth of things we do, you will no doubt find something that aligns well with your interests.  Please look over the partial list of topics below. However, the best way to find something fulfilling is to send me an email indicating what you would be interested in doing with your colleagues. It can be related to any of the topics listed below or something developed organically. Also, the amount of time you choose to commit is totally up to you. You can participate in a discrete project with a defined end point, join a committee with a broader impact, or drive a research study.

Do any of these broad topics excite you?  Are there others?

  • Promote career development opportunities for our members
  • Develop educational opportunities, at and outside the annual meeting
  • Join with colleagues in your discipline to tackle common hurdles by joining a Research  Group
  • Be a voice for science advocacy
  • Build relationships between ABRF and like-minded organizations
  • Bring our journal JBT to the next level
  • Make the role of cores in Scientific Rigor and Reproducibility stronger and more prominent
  • Ask and answer technology-related questions through Research Group and Interest Network studies
  • Be a technical reviewer for journals
  • Strengthen and broaden ABRF-vendor relationships
  • Broaden our membership
  • Develop administrative resources
  • Keep your peers informed and engaged through social media and our website
  • Manage annual meeting logistics

I look forward to hearing from you.

Frances Weis-Garcia, ABRF President

frances.weis-garcia@my.abrf.org

 

Take FASEB’s Shared Research Resources Survey and share your perspective as a user or provider!

The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) wants to learn about your experiences with shared research resources. Please complete this survey by March 2, 2017.

The questions in this 10-15 minutes survey focus on the following topics: (1) resource utilization and unmet needs; (2) the role of facilities in providing access to resources; (3) sources of funding and support for resources; (4) careers in resource provision and development as well as training on best practices. Your feedback will help inform FASEB’s policy positions and recommendations.

Please share this survey link widely with other biological researchers! FASEB is collecting responses from resource users and providers in the US. Survey link: http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/3244931/FASEB-s-Shared-Research-Resources-Survey

ABRF Announces November 1 Webinar: CRISPR/Cas9 Editing in Human Cell Lines and Animal Models

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This webinar will outline new strategies for genome editing in mammalian cells using CRISPR/Cas9, with talks focused on point mutation repair in human cell lines and the design of knock-in animal models.

Dr. Eric Kmiec Director, Gene Editing Institute, Christiana Care Health System’s Helen F. Graham Cancer Institute & Research Center

 Dr. CB Gurumurthy Director, Transgenic Core Facility, University of Nebraska Medical Center

During this webcast, Dr. Eric Kmiec will discuss a new approach to the correction of point mutations using single-stranded oligonucleotides and a partially synthetic form of CRISPR/ Cas9, a ribonucleotideprotein (RNP) complex. The experimental design, including the process of RNP assembly and the workflow, will be presented.

Dr. Kmiec will share details of a case study in which a point mutation in an integrated copy of the mutated eGFP gene in a human cell line is corrected using this approach, and a reaction pathway that is likely distinct from that of homology-directed repair. The use of short single-stranded oligonucleotides may be a strategy of choice when the desired endpoint is correction of point mutations in chromosomal genes.

Our second speaker, Dr. CB Gurumurthy, will discuss the latest trends and CRISPR tools available for animal genome editing, with a particular emphasis on strategies for increasing the homology-directed repair mechanism to enable insertion of longer sequences at the Cas9 cut sites. A few examples of designing knock-in animal models and the workflow of generating the models will be presented.

This webinar is the second on gene editing under the GenomeWeb/ABRF 2016 Webinar Series. The first webinar in the series is available on demand here.

Meet FASEB’s New President, Hudson Freeze

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Hudson H. Freeze, PhD

On July 1, the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) welcomed its new President, Hudson H. Freeze, PhD. Dr. Freeze is Professor of Glycobiology and Director of the Human Genetics Program at the Sanford-Burnham-Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in La Jolla.

“I am honored to lead FASEB—the policy and advocacy voice of 125,000 scientists. Today, we have extraordinary opportunities to communicate with the most receptive Congress in 15 years. Our message has connected, we’ve turned a corner, but now it’s our responsibility to speak out even more strongly. We must advocate for research because we know it benefits all citizens in all districts,” Dr. Freeze said.

For the last 20 years, Freeze’s research has focused on the identification and understanding of Congenital Disorders of Glycosylation (CDGs), genetic errors in the way sugars attach to proteins and lipids. He contributed to the discovery of 18 of the more than 110 known CDGs. Dr. Freeze collaborates closely with physicians, families, and their support organizations and regularly consults on cases while still tracking the genetic basis of multiple patients with unknown glycosylation defects.

Beginning with his postdoctoral work, Freeze has earned nearly 40 years of continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). As FASEB President, he will lead initiatives to advocate for increased funding for NIH and other federal agencies that fund scientific research.

“The most important thing is to get it [funding] for NIH, which is the crown jewel of federal agencies,” Dr. Freeze told San Diego’s KUSI. “We hear a lot of talk about ‘Let’s make America great again,’ but, in fact, in medical research, we are great. What we have to do is sustain that,” said Freeze.

Among his priorities during his year as FASEB president is increasing communication with FASEB member societies. “One thing is fundamental: FASEB represents scientists. From postdocs to Society leaders, I want us to have an open dialog—scientist to scientist—about how FASEB can better serve its members and the scientific community,” Freeze said.

Prior to his election as President, Dr. Freeze served as FASEB’s Vice President for Science Policy. He is a Past President of the Society for Glycobiology and its first representative to the FASEB Board of Directors. Dr. Freeze is also a member of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) and The American Society for Human Genetics.

In 2013, Dr. Freeze shared the Golden Goose Award  with microbiologist Thomas Brock, PhD, for identifying Thermus aquaticus (Taq), an “extremophile” bacteria capable of thriving in extreme heat. Freeze was an undergraduate research assistant in 1966 when he and Brock found Taq in the hot springs of Yellowstone National Park. By identifying an organism with DNA machinery that could survive near-boiling temperatures, their discovery opened the door to the development of polymerase chain reaction and other technologies that would revolutionize biomedical research.

This introduction to science led Dr. Freeze to advocate tirelessly on behalf of basic research. “New cures for devastating diseases and exciting advances in medicine are all rooted in federally funded basic research,” Dr. Freeze wrote in a San Diego Union-Tribune op-ed after his Golden Goose win. “Today’s benefits came from yesterday’s investment. Tomorrow’s cures depend on today’s decisions.”

To help ensure that message gets national attention, he urges scientists to engage with public audiences as often as possible. To that end, Freeze worked with ASBMB to organize an exhibition of BioArt winning images in a brewery during the Experimental Biology meeting.

As President of FASEB, Freeze aims to ensure that policymakers hear the views of researchers and that researchers recognize those legislators who are champions for science. “Congressional leaders assured us that the $2billion increase for NIH funding in 2016 will not be a one hit wonder,” said Freeze. “Let’s help keep that pledge on track with continuing advocacy for greater investment in research. Go make a difference; we can make a difference,” he said.

FASEB is made up of 30 scientific member societies, representing over 125,000 researchers from around the world. ABRF is a member society of FASEB, and ABRF’s members receive the full benefits of FASEB membership.

ABRF Announces Next Webinar: The Emergence of Gene Editing

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This online seminar, part of the GenomeWeb/ABRF 2016 Webinar Series, will cover the history of gene editing methods like TALENs and CRISPR/Cas and provide an overview of various gene editing technologies.

Please join Eric Kmiec, Ph.D., of Christiana Care Health System’s Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute and Channabasavaiah Gurumurthy of the University of Nebraska Medical Center July 19 at 1:00 pm EDT US for their discussion on some of the origins of gene editing and how the field emerged from a series of basic science observations to the dynamic fast-paced field dominating research journals today.

Kmiec and Gurumurthy will also discuss some of the factors that can influence the frequency and efficacy with which gene editing takes place, including cell cycle progression, and the introduction of specific double-strand breaks at specified sites relative to the target.

The second part of the webinar will focus on latest developments in genome editing technologies: specifically, different genome editing technologies will be compared with a special emphasis on the CRISPR/Cas system.

For more information and to register, please click HERE.

ABRF Launches Annual Biomolecular Research Laboratory Census

abrf_2016_surveySubmitted by:  Christopher Colangelo

From 1989 to 2000, ABRF conducted and published 12 surveys on job Compensation and Employment in the biotechnology core laboratory. These surveys had a major impact on helping scientists, administrators, and NIH to promote the growth of core laboratory worldwide. As a way to continue this rich tradition, the current ABRF Executive Board and I have developed and relaunched an industry-wide Annual Biomolecular Research Laboratory Census.

The goal of this census is to learn about salary and employment trends in the biomolecular research laboratory marketplace, both non- and for-profit. The confidential census data will provide respondents the ability to benchmark their biomolecular research laboratory against others, both now and in the future, as well as help ABRF strengthen professional opportunities and employment-related incentives for biotechnology resource facilities. Census results will be made available to the industry via a peer reviewed research article and on the ABRF website.

Participation in this census is voluntary and we anticipate the census will take only 5-7 minutes to complete. We aim to collect data from as many research labs as possible and 100% participation from our current ABRF membership. Respondent identities will remain strictly confidential and all information will be analyzed in aggregate.

To participate in the census, please click HERE. The initial deadline for completing the census is June 15.

ABRF Announces Next Webinar: Experimental and Computational Standards in Metagenomics

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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.

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

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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 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.

Sincerely,
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

 

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!