The Microarray Research Laboratory is a new facility founded in 2003 by EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs to conduct groundbreaking research in toxicogenomics. The laboratory is the state-of-art facility located at the Environmental Science Center, Fort Meade, Maryland.
The Microarray Research Laboratory employs DNA microarray or Gene-chips to detect genotoxic effects of various antimicrobials on bacterial cell response. By using microarrays, the lab produces global gene expression profiles in pathogenic bacteria following exposure to antimicrobial agents. The global gene profiles are then analyzed to help us understand the mechanisms involved in toxicity and resistance so that we can design agents for specific pathogens, leaving minimal effects on other biospecies, including humans. More specifically, the aims of the laboratory are to:
1. Integrate the recent advances in the field of genomics into current microbiological techniques for testing the effectiveness of antimicrobial agents
2. Analyze genome-wide changes in pathogenic bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus in response to exposure to antimicrobials and explore how these responses manifest themselves via variations in structural, physiological, and metabolic properties
3. Compare responding genes to those of other bacteria and determine signature genes correlated to a mechanism of action and lethality
4. Investigate cell-to-cell signaling among bacterial pathogens when their pathongenicity is determined by the secretion and perception of signal molecules
EPA anticipates that this exciting research will provide useful data for healthcare facilities, patients and scientists. The program has also served as a training ground for students interested in genomics research.
Last modified: 03/03/2010