Lab Canada

DNA teaching and research facility gets nod

Peterborough, ON – A business plan outlining the construction of a DNA research and teaching facility to house Trent University researchers engaged in DNA related research has been approved by the university’s board of governors. The university says the facility represents a long-term strategy to create a cluster of DNA-related activity at the university.

It will also potentially provide labs and offices for the Ministry of Natural Resources research staff who are engaged in fish and wildlife DNA research and the Greater Peterborough Region DNA Cluster office.

The teaching and research facility will include new state-of-the-art laboratories for 11 of Trent’s biology and anthropology faculty members, academic office space, new space for graduate students and a home for the Trent-Fleming Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science program. The facility will also be home to Trent’s Canada Research Chair in Conservation Genetics and Biodiversity.

Final board approval of the project will be sought after a leasing arrangement has been reached with the Ministry of Natural Resources and a memorandum of understanding has been finalized with Peterborough concerning the city’s $2 million pledge.

The project valued at $19,500,000 will create a total of 59,429 sq ft of space, with 37,000 of that dedicated to the university’s research and teaching needs.

Funding secured to date includes: Peterborough ($2,000,000); Canada Foundation for Innovation ($3.7 million); Ontario Innovation Trust ($3.7 million); and Ostar Red (Ontario Small Town and Rural Development initiative – $1.33 million). To date, over $10.72 million in federal, provincial and municipal government funding has been secured.

The DNA activity at Trent University dates back to July 2001 when it was awarded a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair to develop a versatile robotic system to provide large-scale DNA profiling.