Ancient Biomolecular Lab (AbLab)

 
The ancient biomolecular lab (AbLab) at the American Museum of Natural History is a space dedicated to the study of historic DNA (hDNA), ancient DNA (aDNA), and ancient proteins (paleoproteomics) from museum collections

What is the AbLab?

The abLab is a state-of-the-art, National Science Foundation-funded facility designed to train and assist researchers interested in working with ancient and historic biomolecular data. 

Analyzing museum specimens for genetic data, more generally referred to as museomics, can provide unique insights into how animals, plants, and other organisms lived anywhere from a couple hundred to several thousand years ago. 

The facility opened in Fall 2022, and is a positive pressure lab space that follows strict decontamination guidelines to prevent human and bacterial contamination that are often barriers when attempting to extract biomolecules from historic or ancient bone, teeth, toe pads, eggshell, plant remains, etc. The construction of this multi-user space serves as the only lab of its kind in New York City and one of two museum-based, multi-user degraded biomolecular labs in North America. 

We provide access to multiple types of equipment and consumable materials for our users found on our Equipment List and Common Use Supplies pages. 

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View the AbLab Facilities

Staff 

Directors 

  • Cheryl Hayashi Provost of Science, Curator, and Leon Hess Director of Comparative Biology Research 
  • Scott Schaefer Dean of Science for Collections, Curator, and Director, Sackler Institute of Comparative Genomics 

Administrative 

  • Lauren Clark, Ancient Biomolecular Lab Research Assistant, Institute for Comparative Genomics 
  • Mohammad Faiz Senior Business Manager, Sackler Institutes for Comparative Genomics