Recent developments in sequencing technology have revolutionized the field of small molecule drug discovery, probe development, enzyme biocatalysis, biosynthetic pathway engineering, and synthetic biology from micro-organisms. The Natural Products Discovery Core was established to explore this particular opportunity and expand on the University of Michigan’s unique microbial library to its fullest potential.    

We provide functional annotation of genetic data acquired through whole-genome sequencing of various organisms (genome mining), as well as developing and applying computational tools and methods to analyze and visualize biological research data (bioinformatics).

What we do

  • Sample preparation: Culture various microbial organisms, prepare genomic DNA, RNA for next-generation sequencing.
  • Bioinformatics analysis: Work with researchers (faculty, staff, post-docs and graduate students) analyze their high-throughput sequencing, metabolomics and other biological data, and build efficient pipelines to handle various next-generation sequencing data.   
  • Consulting: Provide experimental design recommendations (e.g., sequencing strategy to acquire necessary data in a cost- effective manner, analysis methods) and grant application support (e.g., incorporate bioinformatics research plans, prepare letters of support of bioinformatics analysis).
  • Data analysis: Provide a wide range of data analysis services to support natural products discovery, including next-generation genome resequencing, ChIP-Seq transcription factor analysis, RNA-Seq analysis, metagenomic sequencing, de novo assembly, natural product biosynthesis gene cluster mining and annotation, genome-sequence-based prediction and general profiling of natural products and their biosynthesis gene clusters and the prioritization of target gene cluster for a particular natural product, and more.  
  • Establish and maintain customized genomic databases.