IAEA collaborating Center for Animal Genomics and Bioinformatics
Prof. Dr. Luiz Lehmann Coutinho [Lattes]
Animal Biotechnology Laboratory (ABL) – Animal Science Department – Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz – University of São Paulo – Piracicaba.
The University of São Paulo (commonly referred to as USP) is the largest institution of higher education and research in Brazil, and the third in size in Latin America. It is also classified among the top hundred from approximately six thousand such organizations in existence in the world today. USP has influence in the area of higher education in the South-American continent, having educated countless professors in several masters and PhD programs. USP was founded 70 years ago with the purpose of fostering research, advancing science, and transmitting the knowledge that enlivens and develops the human spirit and promotes human life. USP’s teaching and research units are distributed among its seven campuses: two in the City of São Paulo and five in the country side of São Paulo state. Piracicaba and Pirassununga campus harbours main units dedicated to agriculture and animal sciences. The Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz is the main agriculture campus of the University of São Paulo. With over 100 years of history, it has 3.727,8 hectares, 1.468 undergraduate students and 994 graduate students. The Animal Biotechnology Laboratory belongs to the Animal Science Department and it has for the past 12 years participated in teaching of undergraduate, masters and PhD students. Among the former PhD students, two are researchers in the Brazilian Enterprise of Agriculture Research (EMBRAPA), one at the São Paulo State University (UNESP), one at the Federal University of Bahia, and two are pos-doctoral fellows in research institutions in Europe. The Animal Biotechnology laboratory is part of the Organization of Nucleotide Sequence and Analysis (ONSA) held by the São Paulo State Research Foundation (FAPESP). As part of the ONSA group we were involved in the complete genome sequencing of the first plant pathogen Xylella fastidiosa (Nature, 406 (6792):151-157, 2000) and the sequencing of other organisms of importance to agriculture (Xanthomonas, other strains of Xylella, Sugarcane, Coffee, Eucalyptus, Chicken and Cattle). At the present time the laboratory has one Associate Professor, 4 Post-doctoral fellows, 7 PhD students, 3 MS students, 4 laboratory technicians, and 4 undergraduate students. The laboratory is currently involved in candidate gene, quantitative trait loci mapping, transcriptome and gene expression projects in cattle and chicken.
Animal Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Laboratory (LBBMA) – Department of Animal Production and Health – São Paulo State University – UNESP – Araçatuba.
São Paulo State University (UNESP) that equally develops teaching activities, research and extension, is present in 24 cities of Sao Paulo State and viscerally intertwined to the agrarian production, mainly by its historical vocation in the formation of students and performing research in the agriculture area, in campi like Araçatuba, Botucatu, Ilha Solteira and Jaboticabal. UNESP research presents recent accomplishments of importance as, for instance, the significant participation in several Genome Program projects (like the Xylella fastidiosa genome project, which was the first phytopathogenic organism sequenced in the world and responsible for the “amarelinho” plague which causes serious damage to the Sao Paulo State orange groves) and the production of the first cloned mammal (cattle) in Latin America from differentiated cell of an adult animal. In one of the most traditional cattle production area of Brazil, Araçatuba campus of UNESP holds the youngest Veterinary Medicine State School in São Paulo, which was created 10 years ago. Due to massive inversion of resources from research agencies and private sector, Araçatuba has a very well equipped research park with young scientists in different areas of animal production and health. LBBMA major research focuses on the animal physiology, biochemistry and molecular genetics with emphasis on phenotypes of recognized importance in cattle (e.g. early puberty, growth development, disease resistance). The laboratory has projects granted by national and international organizations as FAPESP, CNPq, MCT, Whaltham Foundation and private sector. The main technologies developed in LBBMA are radioimmunoassay for animal hormones, ultrasound evaluation of reproductive traits, DNA cloning and sequencing, microsatellite analysis and high through put gene expression analysis (microarray and SAGE).
Laboratory of Computational and Systems Biology (LBCS) (ex Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, – Fiocruz (Oswaldo Cruz Foundation) – Rio de Janeiro. Fiocruz has the status of federal institute in the Brazilian government, completing 104 years of existence in 2004, running 20 units/centres in Brazil. The “Laboratory of Computational and Systems Biology” is one of the 71 laboratories of the Instituto Oswaldo Cruz. Actually the lab has 3 staff researchers, 2 technicians, 6 MSc students, 2 PhD students and 6 undergraduate students (on training). The current research of the lab is on cell and molecular biology of Leishmania and phlebotomine sandflies, molecular characterization and functional genomics of trypanosomatids, as well as bioinformatics and comparative genomics. LMBT has created an international discussion list (tryplink-l), successfully organized 4 internet conferences on trypanosomatids, created a journal (Kinetoplastid Biology and Disease), organized international conferences/training courses and trained fellows from different parts of South America and Africa. LMBT current research projects are: a) Gene discovery in T. vivax through EST and comparative genomics funded by International Foundation for Sciences (IFS), b) Circulation des trypanosomatidae, funded by CIRAD, c) Open Publishing initiatives (Kinetoplastid Biology and Disease journal), funded by Soros Foundation, d) Molecular characterization of Trypanosoma vivax (as part of the CRP: Developing, validating and standardizing methodologies for the use of PCR and PCR-ELISA in the diagnosis and monitoring of control and eradication programme for trypanosomosis.), funded by IAEA, e) Comparative genomics and transcriptomics: a Bioinformatics consortia for the development of an integrated web-based platform and databases for analyses, funded by CNPq (Brazilian Council for Research and Development) and f) Comparative genomics sequencing of Trypanosoma vivax and T. congolense nuclear genomes (http://www.sanger.ac.uk/Projects/T_vivax/), funded by The Wellcome Trust. Additionally, the Oswaldo Cruz Institute and Fiocruz have several laboratories that act as “reference laboratories” in Brazil and South America. Fiocruz receives funding mainly from national agencies as CNPq, CAPES, FINEP, and FAPERJ, but also through international projects from W.H.O., NIH, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and The Wellcome Trust.