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                            Yerkes Nonhuman Primate Genomics Core

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Mission Statement: 

The mission of the Yerkes Nonhuman Primate Genomics Core (GenCore) is to provide researchers at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center (YNPRC), Emory Vaccine Center (EVC) and greater Emory community with access to cutting edge high throughput genomic technologies including Next Generation sequencing (NGS) and microarray. The GenCore laboratory features an Illumina HiSeq1000 System, an Affymetrix GeneChip platform and an Agilent Bioanalyzer. The GenCore offers a diverse set of assays, including NGS applications: RNAseq, targeted resequencing, ChIP-seq and miRNA sequencing. The GenCore staff consists of two full time Research Specialists and one full time bioinformaticists and provides researchers with ‘start-to-finish’ service, assisting in assay design, sample preparation, quality assessment, data analysis and bioinformatics support. Ongoing projects in the GenCore laboratory include gene expression profiling of several pre-clinical HIV vaccine candidates, transcriptomic analysis of multiple primate malaria species, targeted sequencing of multiple genomic regions for their effects on behavior, and comparative miRNA analysis.

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Personnel

Dr. Steven Bosinger

Director

Dr. Bosinger received his doctorate in Microbiology & Immunology from the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada. Dr. Bosinger was a recipient of a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Fellowship in HIV&AIDS, and conducted his postdoctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania with Dr. Guido Silvestri. In 2008, Dr. Bosinger received a Young Investigator Award from the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise for his work characterizing the immune response to SIV in natural host monkeys at a genome-wide level. Dr. Bosinger has been conducting studies utilizing transcriptomics in SIV monkey model species since 2000, and has published genetic studies using several different model NHP species, including cynomolgus and rhesus macaques, sooty mangabeys and African green monkeys. Currently, Dr. Bosinger’s research is focused on understanding the mechanisms by which nonpathogenic species avoid disease during HIV/SIV infection and identifying correlates of immunity in candidate HIV vaccines. 

Nirav Patel

Lab Manager

In 2009, Mr. Patel joined the Yerkes Center as a Lead Research Specialist in the newly opened Genetics Laboratory located at the Field Station under Dr. Johnson’s leadership.  Mr. Patel successfully developed, optimized and validated protocols for major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genotyping, DNA Sanger sequencing and fragment analysis. During the course of this work, Nirav performed DNA and RNA extractions, functional allele genotyping, MHC haplotyping, DNA sequencing and paternity testing on over 40,000 NHP samples. In 2012, Mr. Patel joined the Yerkes NHP Genomics Core laboratory as Laboratory Manager. During that time, he has developed several protocols to extract RNA from a wide variety of tissues including whole blood, PBMC, lymph nodes, gut, brain and vaginal biopsies etc. from several NHP species infected with SIV, STLV, SHIV and Herpes B virus. The primary goal of the Yerkes GenCore is to provide genomics services to NHP researchers at Yerkes, and Mr. Patel has performed Next Generation sequencing analysis on thousands of RNA samples derived from various tissues from NHP and several other species. Mr. Patel is also responsible for the operation of the Illumina HiSeq1000 Next Generation Sequencing platform, preparing cDNA libraries from hundreds of NHP RNA samples, including several investigators conducting AIDS research. As Laboratory Manager, he has been responsible for the training of new staff, overseeing quality in assay data, and maintaining deadlines on users’ projects.

Gregory Tharp

Bioinformaticist

Mr. Tharp has been working in bioinformatics and computational support for genetic research for the past 4 years. Starting in Dr James Thomas’ lab in the Department of Human Genetics at Emory in 2008, Greg worked with and developed new analytical tools for the analysis of sequencing, assembly, alignment, expression and statistics of genetic assays. Greg implemented and maintained the computational infrastructure of the Thomas lab including the implementation of a local mirror of the UCSC genomics browser. He is currently the senior data analyst for the Yerkes Non-Human Primate Genomics Core Laboratory (NHP GCL) where he performs analysis on both gene expression microarray assays and sequencing results from our Illumina HiSeq 1000 system. He is also responsible for the design and maintenance of the NHP GCL computational infrastructure which consists of a multi-core IlluminaCompute server, the instrument controllers for both the Illlumina HiSeq 1000 and the Affymetrix GCS3000 system as well as numerous Windows and OS-X based workstations for other instrument and technician support. He has had a 25 year career as an engineering systems analyst working on developing and evaluating engineering systems in academic and government research at the University of California, Berkeley and the California Institute of Technology’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory as well as working independently and for a small contracting firm as a research engineering consultant.

Vijaya Bhavani Madeti

Research Specialist Lead

Ms. Madeti obtained her Masters degree in Biochemistry from University of Hyderabad, India. Her graduate research project was on the ‘Characterization of Thyroglubulin binding properties to Mannose-6-Phosphate Receptors’. Bhavani worked for one year as a Data Analyst with Dolcera, a patent and market research service provider.  In 2013, Bhavani joined Yerkes National Primate Research Center as a Research Specialist in the Clinical Pathology Laboratory. Bhavani was involved in Isolation and identification of Microorganisms in the Microbiology area and also in shipping Biological substances both nationally and internationally.As a research specialist, Lead at Yerkes Genomics Core, she is involved in sample receiving, RNA extraction from various tissues such as brain, Rectal and vaginal biopsies, DNA library preparation and sample preparation for cBOT.

Tershel Batchelor

Research Specialist

Mrs.Batchelor received her bachelor’s degree in biology from Armstrong Atlantic State University in 2013. During her undergrad Tershel worked in isolating bacterial isolates from unhatched sea turtle eggs. After moving back into the Atlanta area she worked for Source Bioscience, as a genomic reagent scientist. During the time with this company Tershel successfully set up and managed a cloning and sanger sequencing lab, where Tershel became very well versed in a number of biotechnological skills. Also Tershel worked closley with many pharmaceutical stability studies for companies such as Samsung and Reckitt Benckiser.Tershel joined the Yerkes Primate Genomics Core in July of 2015 as a Research Specialist. While working on creating a new sample inventory system for the core she has worked on purifying numerous RNA samples from various tissue types such as PBMC and Brain. In addition to this Tershel has been involved in pilot projects to better assess buffer quality in processing single cell genomic assays.