Nucleic Acid Facility Team

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Team ID: 
College / Administrative Unit: 
Date Started: 
January 2008
To provide the researchers at Penn State with high quality data at a low price and a quick turnaround. Our services include DNA sequencing, synthesis, extraction and storage, genotyping and quantitation. It is essential that PSU researchers stay competitive with other universities and by providing them with the best service and a rapid turnaround, we have been able to do this. Other University Core Facilities employ several more people to do what we do with 3 FTE and one PT student employee.

In March of 2007 I attended my annual conference for core facility directors (ABRF). I visited a booth with a unique LIMs software and immediately saw the implications for my facility.The cost of the LIMs software was $10,000. However, immediately we started to save 2 to 3 hours per day in labor. We had reached a point where I was considering hiring another person which would have cost approximately $30 to $35K per year plus fringe. This cost would have been reflected with an increase in fees. Streamlining our work load with this new software eliminated that completely.
The software also has made our work more accurate. Everything that the customer types in as an order goes directly to the Sequencer or Synthesizer and we no longer have to type this in. Billing is automatic as well.
The savings from labor as well as going paperless allowed us to decrease our fee to PSU researchers by as much as 14% per sample! Based on 40,000 samples per year, this is about $40K plus approx $40K for another employee. Accuracy through the system has eliminated reruns as well.
Also, by being able to process more samples, one researcher in particular was able to get her data back and send a rapid paper in on the Honeybee problem ahead of UCSF.
I also believe that morale has increased because the work can now be done more leisurely and thus carefully as well.

Deborah Grove

Contact Person: 
Deborah Grove
  • Deborah Grove, Director
  • Sheila Plock, Member
  • Ashley Price, Member