Leading policy makers, geneticists and biological scientists from the fields of medicine, agriculture and governmental agencies will converge Wednesday, November 14 at the 25th Anniversary Celebration of the UF Interdisciplinary Center for Biotechnology Research (ICBR). The celebration will offer a glimpse of next-generation services and technologies available to researchers through the ICBR’s shared resources. A free, public luncheon and open house will start the celebration from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. During the afternoon, the ICBR will offer an open Symposium between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. with guest speakers from the University of Florida, University of California, San Francisco, Wake Forest University, and the National Institutes of Health, speaking on topics from public science policy to evolutionary biology to molecular medicine.
After 25 years of service, scientists and researchers at University of Florida recognize the ICBR as the leading resource for a full range of life science technologies, from DNA sequencing and genotyping, to developing bioinformatics computer systems that can analyze large quantities of biological data. The open house provides an opportunity for researchers to meet the ICBR faculty and staff scientists, get a closer look, and ask questions regarding the technologies available within the shared laboratories. The ICBR invites all researchers, from fields such as medicine, agriculture, veterinary medicine, dentistry, and even those with indirect ties to biology, such as anthropology, to visit the open house and get a first-hand look at what ICBR has to offer the University.
After the open house, the Symposium will commence at 1 p.m. and will feature expert scientists in the fields of cancer research, disease-curing gene therapy, plant evolution, genetically modified crops, and public policy related to biotechnology. Dr. Barry Byrne, the director of the University of Florida Powell Gene Therapy Center, will speak on personalized approaches to rare disease treatment via molecular medicine. Drs. Pam and Doug Soltis of the Florida Museum of Natural History will focus their talk on evolutionary biology, while Dr. Fred Gmitter will contribute his experiences with biotechnology toward beneficial agricultural implications. Drs. Franziska Grieder, Julie A. Auger, and Mark Lively will lead talks focusing on the importance and abilities of the shared resources available within core biotechnology labs, such as those found at the University of Florida’s ICBR.
The ICBR maintains cutting-edge core laboratories and technologies that can offer university research teams and public sector partners access to next generation DNA sequencing, genetics and genomics research, antibody development, bioinformatics project assistance, and a multitude of other specialized, cutting-edge biological technologies and services.
Projects within the ICBR have ranged from helping to develop new cultivars of plants, mapping the genome of ants, tracing the DNA of people across continents, analyzing genes to understand how social situations and health change our DNA, and developing cures for rare and cancerous diseases. The ICBR is truly an interdisciplinary center where researchers and scientists from across the spectrum can find and use tools, machines, and technologies to answer basic and complex questions about people, plants, and animals.