Centers

Bioinformatics Program

Bioinformatics is an emerging interdisciplinary field which combines mathematical and computer sciences with biology and/or medicine. With the recent advancements in biotechnology, biologists are frequently overloaded with large datasets which need to be stored and analyzed in automated ways.

Bioinformatics provides the tools to understand complex biological systems ranging from entire ecological systems, to specific human diseases, to cellular and molecular networks.

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Ecological Research Center

The Ecological Research Center serves as a research and advisory asset to the regional community. Ensuring ecologically sound planning and development within the urban environment is the most vital goal of the Center. The Center assists in the identification of  ecologically related problems and avenues for resolution.

Programs developed by the Center benefits residents of Memphis, the Mid-South, and the global community by assessing issues that explore and improve the quality of life for every individual.  The Center takes a proactive approach to meet community needs while considering the concerns of all stakeholders.

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Feinstone Center for Genomic Research

The purpose of the Feinstone Center for Genomic Research is to foster research and education in the area of genomic research, providing a focal point for these activities within the University of Memphis and the Memphis scientific community. Currently, a major focus of this research is in the area of functional genomics, supporting studies to define the influence of both genetic and environmental factors on gene expression.

The goal of this research is to understand the anatomy of the genome and the functions associated with sets of genetic information. New technologies supported by the center are helping scientists to redefine infectious and chronic diseases, aging and responses to environmental pollutants and drugs, in terms of complex integrated pathways. These same technologies are providing rapid advances in the areas of agriculture and bioremediation.

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The University of Memphis Herbarium

The University of Memphis Herbarium is a natural history collection consisting of over 18,000 plant specimens from scientific collections worldwide. Most of the accessions are vascular plants from the Southeastern US, with an emphasis on those of Tennessee and Kentucky. Orphaned for more than 30 years, the herbarium was revived in 2014 and is now accessioning new specimens with high quality data into the collection. All specimen data are published online and continually updated, and are freely available to researchers everywhere.

The information generated by the collection is used for a wide variety of research interests including

  • Climate change modeling
  • Historical habitat and landscape mapping
  • Tracking the introduction of pathogens and invasive species
  • Phenology studies
  • Production of floras
  • Biogeography and diversification studies

The herbarium itself is used to safely store the voucher specimens generated and used in plant research from the various labs on campus, to supply plant material for anatomical and genetic studies, as a tool for plant identification, and as a campus resource for teaching materials.

Herbarium staff are conducting their own research on the vascular plants of West Tennessee and the Lower Mississippi River Basin. This area has not been well studied, and the reopening of the herbarium has been a catalyst for the renewed interest of regional botanists, students, and amateur naturalists.

International collection code MEM. Visit the Herbarium website.

Integrated Microscopy Center

The Integrated Microscopy Center (IMC) is a resource facility of the University of Memphis. It provides expertise in the use of microscopy to students, faculty and researchers at the University of Memphis and throughout the immediate area.  The IMC houses light microscopes and electron microscopes and ancillary equipment sample preparation.  The IMC is accredited by the State of Tennessee and Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) to prepare clinical samples for electron microscopy.

The IMC includes the new Materials Science Laboratory now open (located in the Integrated Microscopy Center in the basement of the Life Sciences Building).

Featuring an X-ray photoelectron spectrometer (XPS) and a class 1000 clean room equipped with a deposition unit, photo-lithography station, wire bonder and spin coater, the Materials Science Lab is the first of its kind in west Tennessee. With professional staff and equipment enabling research and training for students, postdocs, and researchers in micro-fabrication and surface characterization, this facility significantly enhances the University's capabilities and competitiveness in the targeted growth area of interdisciplinary materials science.

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Edward J. Meeman Biological Station

The Edward J. Meeman Biological Station is the department’s primary field research and teaching venue for ecology, environmental biology, and natural history.  A member of the Organization of Biological Field Stations (OBFS), the main station property consists of 623 acres of forests, ponds, and meadows that encompass upland areas of the Chickasaw bluffs as well as bottomland habitats near the Mississippi River.

This habitat diversity and proximity to the largest river in North America makes Meeman Station an ideal location for research in both terrestrial and aquatic ecology.  Moreover, being only 23 miles from the main campus and having both classroom and dormitory facilities, Meeman is able to provide students with a wealth of hands-on learning experiences in field course offered during regular semesters and summer sessions.

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