Texas Tech and NCGR Sign Agreement to Increase Genome Research
September 26, 2007
Texas Tech signs an agreement that promises to strengthen the university’s research
Texas Tech University has signed an agreement with the National Center for Genome
Resources that promises to strengthen the university’s research program.
The agreement establishes a framework for specific areas of cooperation in genome
sequencing and genome analysis. For example, genomic sequence information discovered
by Texas Tech scientists may be analyzed using the center’s cyber infrastructure and
expertise. It also lays the framework for intellectual property rights arising from
future collaborative research involving both institutions.
Thea Wilkins, Bayer CropScience Regents Professor in Texas Tech’s Department of Plant
and Soil Science, had worked on a National Science Foundation-funded cotton genome
project previously with the Center and was instrumental in forging this new agreement.
The agreement significantly enhances plans already underway at Texas Tech to sequence
the cotton genome in her laboratory.
"Having the genome sequence of your organism, in my case cotton, ranks at the very
top of every researcher’s wish list, as it provides the genetic blueprint," Wilkins
said. "Once we have the cotton genome sequence, we can translate basic research from
the lab into the field. A sequenced cotton genome will pave the way for novel applications
to utilize cotton as an important renewable resource for food, fuel and fiber."
Texas is the largest cotton-producing state in the United States with West Texas producing
60 percent of Texas cotton.
"The impact of having the cotton genome sequence cannot be overestimated and the rate
at which new and improved varieties can be deployed to growers will be, without a
doubt, significantly accelerated," she said.
But cotton isn’t the only area in which the new agreement will aid Texas Tech. Dean
Smith, vice president for research, said the agreement between the university and
the National Center for Genome Resources greatly expands the university’s opportunities
for research in bioinformatics, computational biology and biomedical sciences.
"The center provides world-class expertise in the analysis of genomic data that complements
Texas Tech’s expertise in the generation of these important data," he said. "Other
examples of general areas of mutual interest include analyses of the genetic codes
in sorghum, peanuts and various micro-organisms found in crop plant root systems.
The university and the community all benefit from this important collaboration."
The National Center for Genome Resources, located in Santa Fe, N.M., is a non-profit
research institute dedicated to improving human health and well being through collaborative
research at the intersection of biomedical and mathematics and computer software development.
For more information on the center, go to www.ncrg.org.
Contact: Dean Smith, Texas Tech vice president for research, at (806) 742-3905 or
via e-mail at email@example.com.