Massey University signed up to an NZGL bulk contract as a mechanism to upskill researchers and students – and it is working exactly as intended. Bulk contracts allow researchers involved in smaller projects to use bioinformatics services that would otherwise be cost prohibitive for them to access individually.
Massey University Lecturer in Bioinformatics Dr Dave Wheeler administers the NZGL bulk contract for Massey’s Institute of Fundamental Sciences (IFS). It involves two parts: bioinformatics analysis support, and access to NZGL’s specialist Bio-IT platform for up to 10 users at a time.
“Researchers and students do their own analysis, but the NZGL bioinformaticians are there to support them. In this way, we are able to build critically important bioinformatic and quantitative expertise across the institute, while also generating key data outputs that keep research projects moving forward. That was our focus, when we signed up for the contract and it’s working well.”
Dr Wheeler says the 10 licences to the Bio-IT platform work on rotation. “The analysis work tends to take about three months, so the licences roll over from one person to another at about the right rate, as people return to the lab to continue their work.”
Massey University’s contract began in June 2014 and research outputs are beginning to flow, including several academic papers and a successful Health Research Council grant.
Here’s what Massey University IFS researchers have to say about the NZGL bulk contract:
“I am sure that the inclusion of preliminary RNA-seq data, analysed on NZGL BioIT platform, was integral to my recent grant funding success.”
Dr Tracy Hale, Senior Lecturer, IFS, Massey University.
Dr Hale applied successfully to the Health Research Council Breast Cancer Research Fund for a $200,000 grant to further investigate the role of HP1in breast Cancer.
“Our recent publication in ‘Genetics’, focussing on long-term memory formation, would not have been possible without access to the in-house expertise of NZGL bioinformaticians.”
Dr Helen Fitzsimons, Senior Lecturer, IFS, Massey University
Dr Fitzsimons was part of a team that successfully submitted a paper to the prestigious publication, Genetics. The paper – titled ‘Long-term memory in Drosophila is influenced by Histone Deacetylase HDAC4 interacting with SUMOconjugating enzyme Ubc9’ – appeared in the July 2016 edition.