UNC Charlotte Bioinformatics Services Division
As the first academic organization to join the NC Research Campus, UNC Charlotte has developed an extensive presence on campus that spans bioinformatics, basic plant research and business and entrepreneurial support.
Bioinformatics Services Division
UNC Charlotte’s Bioinformatics Services Division at the NC Research Campus applies bioinformatics to the discovery, development and application of novel computational technologies to help solve important biological problems. The bioinformatics team is interdisciplinary involving faculty, research associates, programmers, information technology specialists, laboratory technicians and administrative support. Their expertise is expansive ranging from plant pathway analysis to working with clinical data to the emerging field of metagenomics, the study of bacteria in the environment.
From their office on the third floor of the David H. Murdock Core Laboratory building, UNC Charlotte’s team specializes in providing a academic researchers, healthcare organizations and biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, on and off campus, assistance with specialized computer systems and software, data management solutions, data analysis and design and development of new research and technologies.
Along with the NC State Plants for Human Health Institute, the David H. Murdock Research Institute and other institutions across the US, UNC Charlotte Bioinformatics is part of the team mapping the genome of the blueberry. Director Cory Brouwer, PhD, is a lead scientist in the Plant Pathways Elucidation Project (P2EP). The collaborative research project at the NC Research Campus brings together academia, industry and undergraduate to doctoral-level students to map the genomes of fruits and vegetables such as strawberries, oats, blueberries and broccoli and to create a bioinformatic knowledge base for each crop.
UNC Charlotte Bioinformatics Services Division also has access to the full range of services of the Department of Bioinformatics and Genomics in the College of Computing and Informatics at UNC Charlotte’s main campus, located just 20 minutes south of the NC Research Campus. Partnering with UNC Charlotte delivers a range of bioinformatics and computational solutions that include computational biophysics, computation mass spectrometry, genome-wide association analysis, high-throughput studies, structural bioinformatics and systems biology.
Ann Loraine, PhD, an associate professor in the UNC Charlotte Department of Bioinformatics and Genomics, combines the capabilities of her computer and wet laboratories on the fourth floor of the NC State Plants for Human Health building to conduct research into the basic processes of plants using the model plant system Arabidopsis thaliana. She and her research team focus specifically on cytokinin signal transduction, alternative splicing, the blueberry genome, pollen research and the creation of genome visualization software.
Alternative splicing permits a single gene to generate multiple distinct mRNA products, each of which may encode proteins with distinct but related functions. By developing computational and experimental approaches, Lorraine’s lab is studying how alternative splicing affects gene function, paying particular attention to its role in stress responses and disease. She is developing highly-interactive genome display software useful for inspecting splicing patterns and exploring genome-scale data sets. She is also developing strategies for data distribution aimed at supporting computational biology applications and large-scale mining of expression data.