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Grant helps CSUDH land next-generation DNA sequencer

Acquiring the DNA sequencer heightens CSUDH’s emergence as a hub for faculty-mentored student science research

Video: YouTube/Illumina Inc

National Science Foundation research grant helps biology professors acquire Illumina MiSeq DNA sequencer; advances Cal State Dominguez’s research capacity, faculty instruction

CARSON – California State University, Dominguez Hills’ (CSUDH) Department of Biology has been awarded a three-year, $216,310 National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation grant to enhance research and curriculum at the university with a next-generation DNA sequencer.

The Illumina MiSeq DNA sequencer will significantly advance the university’s research capacity and bolster faculty instruction, while enabling students to learn some of the latest biological research techniques and improving their graduate school opportunities and future success in bio-science fields.

The NSF grant was awarded to a team of CSUDH faculty: assistant professors of biology Karin Kram, Kathryn E. Theiss, Fang Wang, and Kamal Hamdan, Annenberg Endowed Professor and director of the Center for Innovation in STEM Education (CISE).

“Faculty will no longer need to send sequencing off-campus, which is generally more expensive and takes longer,” said Kram, who served as lead investigator on the grant. “Further, our students will have access to the instrument in both our classes and research labs, exposing them to a cutting-edge technique that most students do not get to use during their undergraduate years.”

In July 2017, Kram was also awarded an NSF grant for her research project “RUI: Characterizing the Role of Regulatory Genes in Adaptive Evolution to Complex Environments.”

Acquiring the DNA sequencer heightens CSUDH’s emergence as a hub for faculty-mentored student science research, and its growing reputation in Los Angeles County as a leader in developing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) outreach and education for K-12 students. As such, the university will partner with teachers in the communities it serves through its NSF-funded scholars programs and CISE’s STEM Teachers in Advanced Residency program to provide access to the sequencer for K-12 students to further develop and foster interest in STEM at a young age.

“This is an amazing opportunity for our STEM teachers who teach at high-need schools and for their students,” said Hamdan. “The partnerships formed through this grant between our wonderful biology faculty and our teacher education faculty, as well as K-12 STEM teachers and their students will definitely enhance the teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge. This will place them in a much better position to inspire their own students.”

Compton Herald is a digital news publication providing clear, fair and current news, information and commentary about Compton and the Los Angeles metropolitan area of California, and the world.

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