Laboratories

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The Laboratories of Molecular Anthropology and Microbiome Research (LMAMR) are home to two state of the art laboratories: the LMAMR Ancient Lab, a world-class 6-room ISO-6 clean room for ancient DNA research; and the LMAMR Modern Lab, a fully equipped molecular biology laboratory specializing in high-throughput microbiome research.

Lab Policy

Lab Policy:

  • We are committed to safety at LMAMR. Everyone is responsible for maintaining a safe lab. Follow the safety rules and use common sense: fill out and dispose of waste appropriately, avoid incompatible chemical reactions, use secondary containment, use fume hoods, be attentive, do not eat in lab areas, and keep work areas organized and clean. If you feel unsafe for any reason, please bring it to the attention of LMAMR faculty.
  • The lab is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion (or lack thereof). We do not tolerate harassment of lab members in any form. Sexual language and imagery is generally not appropriate for any lab venue, including lab meetings, presentations, or discussions. (However, do note that we work on biological matters so work-related discussions of e.g. reproduction are appropriate.) All lab members should be aware that the university has resources available including a University ombudsman and Institution Equity Office to address issues of harassment of any kind.
    Adapted from http://ivory.idyll.org/lab/coc.html
  • Communicate regularly with your primary advisor regarding your progress in classes, on your research projects, as well as teaching/work responsibilities.
  • Meet deadlines on individual, as well as group research projects, and communicate to other group members if those deadlines are not going to be met and, importantly, when they are expected to be met.
  • Participation is encouraged, schedule permitting. LMAMR common space is designed for promoting creative and open science.
  • Attend lab events, group meetings, and individual meetings on time and be well-prepared. If you cannot attend a scheduled event, notify your primary advisor or the lab manager and add it LMAMR vacation/travel Calendar
  • Participate in general maintenance of the laboratories and the office area.
  • Maintain lab notebooks/project binders including detailed methods and results, and annotated codes (if applicable). These need to be sufficient to reproduce results without additional instructions.
LMAMR Expectations

LMAMR Expectations:

For LMAMR Faculty -

The LMAMR faculty come from a variety of departments and disciplines but we are ALL committed to:

  • Treating all students and staff with courtesy and respect and recognizing that everyone’s time is valuable.
  • Responding to concerns about LMAMR in a timely and efficient manner
  • Fostering a brave environment where students can explore ideas and problem-solve creatively. You will make mistakes but you will learn from them.
  • Meeting regularly with students and post-docs individually to discuss challenges, pitfalls, and research progress.
  • Discussing future career goals and supporting students by facilitating progress towards these goals.

For Graduate Students -

Graduate students at LMAMR should be able to think critically and creatively to build their own identity and become leaders in their field. LMAMR is an interdisciplinary group spanning anthropological sciences, microbiology, evolutionary biology and bioinformatics and our students will develop skills in at least two of these areas. We are committed to mentoring graduate students  as they work to obtain their professional goals, whether that be inside or outside of academia. We expect our graduate students to:

  • Communicate regularly with your primary advisor regarding your progress in classes, on your research projects, as well as teaching/work responsibilities.
  • Meet deadlines on individual, as well as group research projects, and communicate to other group members if those deadlines are not going to be met and, importantly, when they are expected to be met.
  • Participation is encouraged, schedule permitting. LMAMR common space is designed for promoting creative and open science.
  • Attend lab events, group meetings, and individual meetings on time and be well-prepared. If you cannot attend a scheduled event, notify your primary advisor or the lab manager and add it LMAMR vacation/travel Calendar
  • Read and keep up with the published literature in your area of research.
  • Participate in weekly lab meetings and make a presentation at least once a semester (e.g.,  about your research or summarizing relevant literature).
  • Mentor at least one junior graduate student or undergraduate student on a research project.
  • Help build a sense of community among the lab by discussing your research projects, proof-reading manuscripts/grants and giving constructive feedback.
  • Know your strengths and limitations. Work to improve your limitations. Ask for help when you need it.
  • Write and submit a pre-doctoral fellowship proposal and/or contribute preliminary analysis to a full grant proposal.
  • Write and submit manuscripts during their tenure at LMAMR.
  • Present a poster or talk of research progress at a conference at least once a year.

For Post-docs-

Post-docs are important members of the LMAMR community and contribute valuable expertise from prior training experiences. We recognize that a postdoc is a critical time period for developing an independent research agenda and completing projects from prior and ongoing collaborations. Completing these projects is important for career advancement and in the long run, benefits LMAMR as successful post-docs obtain permanent positions. Balancing time commitments between your ongoing projects, your postdoc projects, and any potential new projects should be discussed with your supervisor upon arrival, with the understanding that achieving milestones in the project funding the postdoctoral position is your priority. We are committed to mentoring postdocs as they work to obtain their professional goals, whether that be inside or outside of academia. We expect LMAMR postdocs to:

  • Communicate regularly with your primary supervisor regarding your progress on your research projects, as well as teaching/work responsibilities.
  • Meet deadlines on individual as well as group research projects, and communicate to other group members if/when those deadlines are not going to be met.
  • Maintain lab notebooks/project binders including detailed methods and results, and annotated codes (if applicable). These need to be sufficient to reproduce results without additional instructions.
  • Be available in the SRTC during regular business hours (except when attending seminars, teaching/working, or if schedule does not permit for a specific day) in order to facilitate interactions with other lab members. Coordinate with your supervisor if you are going to be out of town and add it to the LMAMR vacation/travel Calendar
  • Attend lab events, group meetings, and individual meetings on time and be well-prepared. If you cannot attend a scheduled event, notify your primary supervisor.
  • Participate in general maintenance of the laboratories and the office area.
  • Read and keep up with the published literature in your area of research.
  • Participate in weekly lab meetings and present (ongoing research/journal article) at least once a semester.
  • Mentor at least one graduate student or undergraduate student on a research project.
  • Help build a sense of community among the lab by discussing your research projects, proof-reading manuscripts/grants and giving constructive feedback, as well as socializing outside of the workplace.
  • Know your strengths and limitations. Work to improve your limitations. Ask for help when you need it.
  • Apply for external funding (either individual postdoc fellowships or contributing to larger lab grant writing)
  • Write and submit manuscripts during their tenure at LMAMR.
  • Present a poster or talk of research progress at conference at least once a year.

For Undergraduate Students-

We are committed to undergraduate research at LMAMR. Undergraduate students typically work on ongoing projects in the group with the expectation of a multi-semester commitment. Undergraduates are provided mentorship and assistance in obtaining their personal and professional goals, including those outside of academia.

  • Communicate regularly with your graduate student mentor/project manager regarding your progress on your research project(s).
  • Meet deadlines on your research project(s) and communicate to your graduate student mentor/project manager if those deadlines are not going to be met.
  • Maintain lab notebooks/project binders including detailed methods and results, and annotated codes (if applicable). These need to be sufficient to reproduce results without additional instructions.
  • Be available in the laboratory/office for a minimum pre-arranged set of hours each week, in order to facilitate interactions. Coordinate with your supervisor if you are going to be out of town and miss your regularly scheduled hours and add it to the LMAMR vacation/travel Calendar
  • Attend lab meetings, group meetings, and individual meetings on time and be well-prepared. If you cannot attend a scheduled event, notify your supervisor.
  • Participate in general maintenance of the laboratories and the office area.
  • Participate in weekly lab meetings. Present (ongoing research/journal article) at least once during your tenure at LMAMR.
  • Know your strengths and limitations. Work to improve your limitations. Ask for help when you need it.
  • Present your research at OU undergraduate research day
Ancient Lab

LMAMR Ancient Lab

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The LMAMR Ancient Lab is a world-class ISO-6 clean room dedicated to ancient DNA research. Built in late 2014, the 6-room, 1308 square foot LMAMR Ancient Lab was custom designed to accommodate both ancient microbiome and ancient host paleogenomics research. The LMAMR Ancient Lab also features dedicated areas for sample storage and gowning, specimen photography and sampling, microscopy, volatile chemical handling and ancient protein extraction, and ancient DNA extraction and next-generation sequencing (NGS) library construction.

Construction of the new LMAMR Ancient Lab is now complete and we are currently transitioning our ancient research projects to the new lab. Check out the image below to see our progress and the latest photos of our new lab.

FLOOR PLAN-8

Modern Lab

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The LMAMR Modern Lab is a fully equipped BSL-2 molecular biology laboratory specializing in microbiome research. The lab is subdivided into Pre-PCR and Post-PCR spaces. The Pre-PCR lab is divided into six work areas and includes ample room for sample sorting and preparation, automated robotics for DNA extraction, a biological safety cabinet for work with biohazardous material, laminar flow hoods for PCR and library set-up. The Post PCR lab contains thermocyclers for PCR and qPCR, a range of DNA quantification and characterization instruments, extensive cold storage capacity for long-term sample curation, and direct access to an autoclave facility. Additional resources available within the building include high-throughput next-generation sequencing (NGS) instruments and supporting equipment.