Coral Genomics for the Non-Genomic Scientist

June 21-26, 2009

Sponsored by NOAA and the National Coral Reef Institute (NCRI)
USFWS National Conservation Training Center
Shepherdstown, West Virginia


Who Should Apply:
Senior-level graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, junior and senior investigators that are interested in learning how to leverage sequence-based genomic resources to understand coral health and disease. No previous experience with bioinformatic tools is required. Maximum of 20 participants.

The course is sponsored by NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program though the Coral Disease and Health Consortium which allows us to offer the course at minimal cost. All meals and lodging at the National Wildlife Conservation Training Center in Shepardstown, WV, which is located approximately 60 miles west of Washington Dulles International Airport, Sterling, VA, are included for those accepted to the course.

Participants will be responsible for any incidental charges they incur.

Travel Scholarships
Limited scholarships are available for applicants for travel costs and are subject to open competition. Please see our application information and terms and conditions.

Applicants will be required to complete an application form containing their CV together with a 1000 word maximum statement of the relevance of the course to their research and tell us how you will benefit from taking the course. See the Application Form for details. Note: The application deadline is January 15, 2009.

Please note that postdoctoral or PhD student applications will require a letter of support from the applicant's supervisor or head of department.
Please note: Incomplete applications will be rejected.

Selection Criteria
Applications will be reviewed by members of the course faculty and applications will be ranked based on the following criteria:

  • Involvement in coral reef research or evidence of proposed involvement
  • Demonstrated ability to apply the training skills for research in home institution
  • Availability for the entire duration of the course
  • Predoctoral students and postdocs should have at least one letter of support included in application submission
  • Provide a 1- 2 page essay, that includes a) description of current research b) how bioinformatics and access to genomic resources could enhance the current project, and c) some evidence of home institution commitment to apply genomics tools

Application form

Applications and letters of support should be sent to:
Dr. Cheryl Woodley
Coral Health and Disease Program
Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research
Hollings Marine Laboratory
331 Fort Johnson Rd.
Charleston, SC 29412
"Email" <cheryl.woodley barney noaa fred gov>

We would like to announce "SymBioSys", and "AiptasiaBase", two comprehensive EST databases providing transcriptomic resources for symbiotic cnidarians.



Initially, the databases started as an undergraduate student-project with the aim to organize and annotate internally available EST sequences for the sea anemone Aiptasia pallida (AiptasiaBase) as well as the Caribbean corals Montastraea faveolata and Acropora palmata (SymBioSys). The product is based on an open-access software pipeline (EST2uni - Forment et al. 2008).

AiptasiaBase is now hosted at Vassar College, and future development is aiming at making it part of a tool-rich, community-based Wiki project. SymBiosSys is hosted at the University of California Merced and the positive feedback we have received spurred us on to include more sequences from additional species (corals and Symbiodinium). Both databases contain assembled and annotated sequences that are highly queryable, blastable, and readily downloadable. For more features (such as primer design in 3 mouse clicks), just follow the links provided above.

Other Links of Interest
National Wildlife Conservation Training Center
Coral Disease and Health Consortium