ITHACA, N.Y. -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will establish a national gene data research center, the Center for Bioinformatics and Comparative Genomics, at Cornell University. Judy St. John, an associate deputy administrator with the USDA's Agricultural Research Service, made the announcement Jan. 17 in San Diego at the Plant and Animal Genome VII Conference.
The new genomics center is expected to open this spring on the Cornell campus. It will be linked to the New York State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell's Department of Plant Breeding and the Cornell Theory Center, as well as to Cornell's New York State Agricultural Experiment Station and the USDA's Plant Genetics Resources Unit in Geneva, N.Y.
"The USDA-funded center will aid researchers around the country and the world in the quest to discover all the genes in grains -- like corn, wheat and rice -- and plants in the family that includes tomatoes, potatoes and peppers," said St. John. "[The USDA's] Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and Cornell already maintain the foremost computerized, publicly accessible databases for information about the structure of genes in grains, tomatoes, potatoes and peppers. The center will establish a new partnership to strengthen this effort."
Cutberto Garza, Cornell vice provost, said, "Cornell is very pleased to strengthen its partnership with the USDA through this collaborative effort. We expect it to provide an internationally valuable resource for research storage of genetic data on key crops and to enable important advances for producers and consumers."
Samuel Cartinhour, a USDA-ARS molecular biologist with expertise in informatics,
has been named director of the new genomics center. "Bringing Cornell's Theory
Center, Cornell's Department of Plant Breeding and the ARS together on this
constitutes a new, higher level of research infrastructure. The new center will
make the day-to-day research easier and more effectiv
Contact: Blaine P. Friedlander, Jr.
Cornell University News Service