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Museum Joins New York Genome Center

by AMNH on

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The American Museum of Natural History has become an associate member of the New York Genome Center (NYGC), an independent non-profit organization created to transform science and healthcare through advanced bioinformatics and genomics research. The Museum joins NYGC’s unique consortium of 14 leading academic and medical institutions. The addition of the Museum to NYGC’s membership will enable NYGC to access unique samples and pilot genomic technologies catering to non-human applications.

Vials Genomics
© AMNH/D. Finnin

“Since its founding in 1869, the American Museum of Natural History has been a leader in studying 3.5 billion years of evolutionary change on Earth,” said Michael Novacek, the Museum’s senior vice president and provost for science. “The lessons we learn from non-human evolution, enhanced by sophisticated technologies such as genome sequencing, can be used to understand diverse organisms that include those microbes capable of spreading disease around the globe. Museum scientists help medical researchers determine the origin, evolution, and diversity of pathogens as well as how they have adapted to humans. With the New York Genome Center as a partner, we look forward to expanding these important research investigations and many others that call upon state-of-the-art sequencing technologies.”

The Museum’s Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics, led by Director George Amato, will work closely with NYGC, which is located in downtown New York City, benefiting from diverse collaboration opportunities, access to data storage, and a high-tech genome sequencing facility. These resources will complement the Museum’s own research tools, which include three molecular laboratories, a parallel computing facility, and a frozen tissue collection.

Monell Collection liquid nitrogen
Part of the Museum's Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics, the Monell Collection—the largest and most comprehensive initiative of this kind—is a meticulously maintained library of hundreds of thousands of frozen samples that have been distributed to geneticists free of charge since 2001. 
© AMNH/R. Mickens

The Museum’s membership represents increased diversity in NYGC’s collaborative network, with an expansion from human genomic studies to those that probe the evolutionary history of organisms, including those that adversely influence human health.