Using Genomic Research Tools to Reach the Next Generation of Scientists


The Integrated Microbial Genomes (IMG) platform is an informatics environment that scientists can use to annotate genes in newly sequenced genome sequences. It was developed by scientists at the DOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI). JGI scientist Cheryl Kerfeld and colleagues now report how they used the IMG platform to develop the Integrated Microbial Genomes–Annotation Collaboration Toolkit (IMG-ACT), an educational resource that provides access to genomes sequenced by the JGI and offers students virtually endless research possibilities, bioinformatics databases, instructor course management and student notebooks. Since IMG-ACT was launched in 2008, more than 100 faculty members and 1,600 students nationwide have participated in the program. An example of the impact of IMG-ACT is at the University of California, Los Angeles, where all life science majors use the IMG-ACT platform as part of an interdisciplinary laboratory curriculum to develop a community of peer experts in bioinformatics.


Jayna L. Ditty, et al., “Incorporating Genomics and Bioinformatics across the Life Sciences Curriculum” PLoS Biol (2010) 8(8): e1000448. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000448.