UConn HomeBanner
CAGT Home Molecular & Cell Biology Genetics, Genomics, & Bioinformatics Professional Science Master's Center for Continuing Studies Contact Us


The recently established Center for Applied Genetics and Technology (CAGT) is a University-wide initiative to provide infrastructure support for research and training in genetics, genomics and bioinformatics. The genesis of the program arises from collaboration between faculty from several departments at the University of Connecticut, scientists from the Connecticut State Police Forensic Sciences Lab's (CSPFSL) DNA Unit, and more than a dozen corporate partners. Opened in the Summer of 2004, the CAGT occupies ~6,000 sq.ft. of newly renovated space in historic Beach Hall. The CAGT is comprised of several facilities: a molecular genetics research and training laboratory, a DNA typing research and training laboratory (a replicate of the type used in forensic and diagnostic applications), a laboratory for non-traditional DNA typing, and a bioinformatics-oriented data analysis center

The CAGT is funded by external grants from the National Science Foundation's Major Research Instrumentation Program ($848,426, including University matches) and the National Institute of Justice ($2,000,000). The Center has multiple platforms for the analysis of DNA genotyping and gene expression (including real-time PCR, microarrays, and denaturing high pressure liquid chromatography), as well as a scientific staff conducting DNA research in a range of genomics-oriented projects.

The Laboratory for Non-Traditional DNA Typing (LNTDT)

The most unique aspect of the University of Connecticut's CAGT is its focus on forensic genetics. A long-established relationship with the CSPFSL, built by world-renowned forensic scientist Dr. Henry C. Lee, has resulted in several emerging DNA research projects with forward-looking applications to the analysis of biological evidence. While most citizens are familiar with the type of human DNA typing of biological materials from suspects and crime scenes made famous by the O.J. Simpson trial, few are aware of the complexity and promise of DNA typing strategies. There are several new strategies and issues in population genetics for typing human samples (including mitochondrial DNA, Y chromosome STRs and SNPs) that will be under investigation in the LNTDT. Moreover, the capacity to use non-human biological samples as associative evidence (used to link a suspect or victim to a crime scene) is increasingly important. DNA typing of cat hair and plant materials have already been instrumental in obtaining convictions. The magnitude of this kind of evidence can be appreciated in the fact that there are over 500 cases in Connecticut alone that have submissions of plant evidence. The CSPFSL is a world leader in forensic applications of plant DNA typing, one of the areas of emphasis for basic research in the LNTDT. Another example of emerging strategies to be pioneered in the LNTDT is the typing of microbial communities in soil as a way to analyze associative evidence.

The Center for Applied Genetics and Technology (CAGT) is part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS).

What's Happening
UConn Home         Maps & Directions           A-Z Index Center for Applied Genetics and Technology
Beach Hall, Room 209
354 Mansfield Rd., U-2131
Storrs, CT 06269