Dr Julia Miskelly is the manager of the Genomics Core Technology Unit (GCTU) at Queen’s University Belfast, which provides researchers with access to the latest gene-sequencing technology.
Often, a project will require certain equipment to be purchased, but when the grant comes to an end, there’s no way to fund its continued use. The GTCU is like a library, where cutting-edge equipment, technology and services are brought together and made available to researchers across the university and beyond.
The team of highly skilled technicians maintain and service the equipment and run the experiments. Crucially, they also provide consultation on the best technologies to use, enabling scientists to conduct internationally competitive research.
Much of our technology is state of the art, so researchers might not be aware of it. We advise on the best approaches to experiment design and can help them write their grant applications. Since, the unit was established three years ago, a large proportion of these applications have successfully received funding.
Julia and her team also act as a bridge between research and industry.
The unit has established relationships with industrial and commercial partners, particularly in the agricultural sector.
Over the last year, the unit has played a key role in COVID-19 related research.
We work with researchers and innovators to develop bespoke workflows, a number of which have gone on to thrive, including one for COVID-19 sequencing, which increased output and reduced cost.
With a degree in biochemistry and PhD in gene transcription, Julia has spent a number of years focussing on next generation sequencing technologies. She is passionate about the crucial role technicians play.
Technical management makes major contributions to research and innovation.
Last updated: 25 May 2021