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Jackson Lab to Use Stimulus Funds for Bioinformatics Expansion

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine, will use a $2.1 million National Institutes of Health grant to bolster its bioinformatics team and facilities, and to hire other staff, the lab said this week.

Jackson Lab plans to use the funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support the addition of three new stories to its existing bioinformatics facilities, and it plans to hire eight new faculty members, including four focused on bioinformatics.

The lab had initially announced the stimulus award in late September, but provided details regarding use of the funds this week.

The new staff members' areas of focus will include high-throughput genomics, computational statistics, and imaging, Jackson Lab's Chief Information Officer and IT Director, Scott McNeil,said in a statement.

McNeil described these as "fields with very high compute, storage, and bandwidth needs," and said that the lab is positioning for new cloud computing capacities.

The tools these bioinformatics programs develop will "be publically available to researchers worldwide, helping them keep pace with the increasing amount of genetic data currently being generated," Jackson Lab said.

One focus, for example, will be mouse model characterization research coming out of the Mouse Genomes Project.

Jackson Lab said that the new grant brings its total stimulus funding to more than $5.8 million.

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