CGC is an research and educational facility established in 2012 with an overall goal of creating local expertise in Next Generation Sequencing Technologies, Genomics and Bioinformatics Analysis at the University of Puerto Rico.

We made a leap forward by  using help and support of the local community and acquiring a small-scale Ion Torrent PGM with several pieces of the auxiliary equipment, including Ion One Touch, Agilent Bioanalyzer and Bioruptor.   Then, with the help of HHMI funding, we have also established a Genome Annotation Laboratory adjacent to the Center, to serve as a focal point for educational and collaborative research projects. The center is now part of several actively funded (NSF, Toyota Community Foundation, US FWS) and submitted proposals in UPRM (NSF) and with the UPR system (INBRE), and has become a hub of research and educational activity on the island.

LABORATORY OF GENOMIC DIVERSITY @ UPRM is a subdivision of CGC under the direction of Dr. Taras K. Oleksyk

LGDS works to address issues crucial to enhancing genetic education among the Hispanic students, and promoting genome research in the local community.  Currently, at LGD@UPRM we are  working on two major research projects, one in human genomic diversity across Puerto Rico supported by the NSF and on comparative genomics of endangered species of birds supported by the US FWS, and Toyota Foundation, and several pilot studies. I will teach courses in Genetics, and developing genomics and bioinformatics curricular sequence (INBRE, NIH) based on the Caribbean Genome Center, and next generation sequencing and bioinformatics facility I have co-founded through crowd-funding and outside grants (Toyota, US FWS), as well as a new genetics laboratory at the Puerto Rico Zoo Dr. Juan A. Rivero, or DNA ZOO. The CGC will be an integral part of the campus infrastructure (submitted to NSF).

In 2014 CGC was in charge of the Local Organizing Committee for the International Meeting of the Society for the Molecular Biology and Evolution (San Juan, 2014).  In 2015, CGC will be the focus site of the international course “Recent Advances in Conservation Genetics”.


My overall goal is to organize viable research and education programs in genomics and bioinformatics at the UPR-M based on the technological capabilities Caribbean Genome Center I have established with my colleagues Drs. Juan Carlos Martinez-Cruzado, Audrey Majeske, and Nikolaos Schizas.

Our specific aims are 1) to introduce the new, next-generation sequencing and bioinformatics technologies to UPR-M, 2) to help fellow faculty and members of the community to use locally available next-generation sequencing and bio-computing resources 3) to build educational activities around the genomics and bioinformatics research. In my two main research projects (see below) the next-generation sequencing and bioinformatics assembly, annotation and analysis technologies take the central part. The proposed studies will establish a solid foundation for the long-term research programs in structural, functional, environmental, and comparative genomics using the next-generation sequencing technology, bioinformatics and evolutionary analysis, and provide a set of next research goals for the Caribbean Genome Center involving other researchers. The success of our projects will also promote and enhance collaborative network between the UPRM faculty, connect them to the other research centers in Puerto Rico and outside the island.

The educational and outreach activities are designed to complement these goals, and will include: (1) developing the undergraduate/graduate Biology of Genomes courses, (2) hosting genomics workshops to train UPR students and faculty at CGC, and (3) promoting genome science by organizing major international events, such as SMBE2015 and ConGen2015 (See Events).

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CGC and LGD@UPRM Director: Dr. Taras K Oleksyk joined UPRM faculty in 2009 with a strong commitment to improve research and education and to reach out to the minority students and the underserved communities.  he works on to issues crucial to enhancing genetic education among the Hispanic students, and promoting genome research in the local community.  Dr. Oleksyk is a native of Ukraine.  He holds Ph.D. in Genetic Toxicology from the Institute of Ecology at the University of Georgia (Athens)

Laboratory of Genomic Diversity