Institute for Behavioral Genetics
Campus Box 447
University of Colorado at Boulder
Boulder, Colorado 80309-0447
Licor Lab Caretaker
I came into the lab shortly after meeting Tom Johnson at the Neurobehavioral Genetics summer school at Penn State University in August of 1996. Initially, I worked with Beth Bennett on a project to precisely map a known QTL for propofol sensitivity in HS mice using the ABI 377 DNA sequencer. I also used the project as my thesis project for my Master's degree at Colorado State University in Ft. Collins. With the help from Mary Beeson in lab training, Brad Rikke in troubleshooting and Beth Bennett in statistical concerns, I graduated in the summer of 1997.
Concurrently, I worked on a QTL mapping project for Matt Jucker of NIH to identify genes that may play a role in the deposition of plaque-like deposits in brain using AXB RI mice. I traveled to Basel, Switzerland to give a talk on my findings in 1997 (and to snowboard in the Alps).
My focus for the past 1 1/2 years has been running the new LICOR genotyping/sequencing facility. I have been primarily working with Valerie Whatley with her Alcohol Preference study using the C57/BL6 and DBA/2 mouse strains by genotyping, databasing, and doing statistical analyses. I began some preliminary sequencing of candidate genes for ethanol preference. I have really enjoyed working closely with Valerie Whatley on her project. Recently, we have re-organized the lab to accommodate other projects. My responsibility is to achieve High-Throughput genotyping with multiple users and multiple projects.
When I'm not genotyping or troubleshooting day to day problems in the lab, I can usually be found across the street at Scott Carpenter Park skateboarding on the vert ramp. The proximity to the park and a flexible time schedule are great bonuses to working at IBG. While at IBG, I have been fortunate to travel to compete in major skate competitions to rank 17th in the world in 1997. I am also actively involved with designing a free public skateboard park in Boulder. Naturally during the winter and spring, I snowboard every free moment I have at a resort or down a peak in the backcountry. I'm convinced I need to get out in the mountains so much because the LICOR lab doesn't have any windows.
Multi-User LI-COR Genotyping Facility at the Institute for Behavioral
Genetics. (Lab Caretaker: Glen Charnoski)
We maintain a multi-user genotyping facility at the Institute for Behavioral Genetics (IBG) at the University of Colorado (Boulder). Our core facility is made up of two LI-COR Model 4200S (IR2) two-laser fluorescent DNA sequencers. Skilled technicians can produce and analyze genotypes with much greater speed and precision over traditional techniques using radioactive-labeled primers. Furthermore, the semi-automatic nature of the LI-COR produces greater efficiency in data
Towards this end, we have developed effective procedures for high-throughput genetic analyses. These include multiplexing short tandem repeat polymorphisms (STRPs), utilizing a dual-dye fluorescent detection system of STR pattern, using computer software assisted band calling and sizing using the Gene ImagIR software, and using the database manager feature of Gene ImagIR to track individual samples. Facilitating High-Throughput Genotyping are a PE (Applied Biosystems) 9700 thermalcycler and a Beckman Robot.
Motivated users can be trained in three days and be producing genotypes within one week, with the help of a lab created Users Manual and Analysis Guide. We also integrate student hourlies in our lab. Kathryn Patton, our long-standing helper has been working in the lab for the past 1 years. Current projects utilizing the LI-COR facility are as follows:
1. Valerie Whatley is heading the Alcohol Preference Congenic study in mice, which uses the LI-COR to identify and define QTL regions and to assist in developing congenic mice by genotypic selection.
2. Holly Lallman is using the LI-COR to identify recombinant congenics for Ethanol Sensitivity in ISS and ILS mice. This project is a continuation of the project involving Beth Bennett, Mary Beeson, Lena Gorden to identify Alcohol Sensitivity QTLs.
3. Elaine Shen is heading a project with Marc Libman to identify QTLs for anesthetic sensitivity in mice.
4. Brad Rikke has joined the club of LI-COR users to identify Knock-Out mice for his continuing studies on anesthetic sensitivity and aging research.
Jeremy Owens, a Ph.D. candidate, uses the LI-COR to identify neurological
mutants in mice for breeding purposes. Ultimately, this project attempts to
identify genes involved in neurological processes.