UNCG Molecular Core Lab


“My research group has benefited hugely from both the training experiences and the research services offered by the Molecular Core Lab.

“In regard to training, too often graduate courses put far too much emphasis on theory and lecture material, and our students do not get the breadth of practical lab experience that they need. The targeted training sessions like the qPCR workshop are a great way to get grad students up to speed in techniques that did not even exist when I started out as a faculty member.

“My research has benefited from MCL research services on several occasions, usually when a graduate student is running out of time and does not have much experience in a particular technique. We’ve done the math, and it can actually be more cost effective to go with MCL services, compared to the costs of buying the required kits and reagents – especially when there’s a good chance your student will fail on the first attempt! What is really great is that Reunka and Jenna go out of their way to work with you and your team, explaining the theory and protocols, so that it also serves as a training experience. Combine that with the detailed final report and publication ready results in graphical and spreadsheet form, and it’s a great value. I encourage all my colleagues to support this facility whenever they can, as this is the type of research service we need more of here at UNCG to enhance our competitiveness in research.”

– Ethan W. Taylor, professor, Nanoscience

“I would like to thank and share my praise for the UNCG Molecular Core Lab Director Renuka Shivaji! Renuka was very helpful in assisting me with an important step of my research that we’ve been working on for the past few months. Renuka helped me locate the proper equipment (An Agilent Bioanalyzer) between the main campus and the nanoschool campus at UNCG. After locating the machine and associated reagents for my use, Renuka trained and supervised my use as we ran my first samples. Unfortunately, the first day presented us with several issues, which led us to the trouble-shooting phase. Next, Renuka arranged for us to meet with a company representative and receive free samples of the reagents to assist us in trouble-shooting our techniques. Finally, on the seventh try, our sample run was successful and we obtained usable data. In addition to offering her time and expertise, Renuka’s efforts helped me obtain the data I needed and saved me over $600 in reagents and consumables!!

“I encourage anyone working with new protocols or troubleshooting molecular assays to consult with Renuka, as she can offer services, suggestions, and potential solutions to help you complete your research in a timely fashion.”

– Matt Marshall Environmental Health Sciences PhD. Candidate

“When I took Genetics Lab and Cell Biology Lab, many of the procedures were either done by the professors (such as preparing the electrophoresis gel), or by my lab partners, who were more interested in finishing quickly than in understanding what we were doing. In addition, some of the procedures did not produce the expected results, which left gaps in my knowledge.

“During this semester, I was trained and supervised by Ms. Renuka Shivaji, whom I found to be a very knowledgeable and thorough teacher. She made sure I knew the scientific concepts behind each of the laboratory techniques and procedures, which helped me to integrate the material from my previous courses with the hands-on experience of actually doing the laboratory component from start to finish.

“This semester has expanded my understanding of these concepts from a theoretical foundation to one of practical usefulness. I now have invaluable first-hand experience with the following procedures, including use of the indicated laboratory equipment and software programs.”

– Rose Ewald, undergraduate, Biology Department

“Renuka and Jenna responded kindly when I asked them for a help in running a western blot experiment. They helped me to set up the experiment using advanced techniques available at their lab, [and] I learned new experimental skills. In addition to monitoring my progress in the lab, they did stimulate my thinking and encourage deeper understanding of the experiment. They walk around and make sure that I am making progress and ready to answer my questions. The experiment was completed successfully within time allotted. I have been struggling with the experiment for weeks but one day’s work at their lab delivered the final results. They even helped in drawing conclusions from the results we obtained. I really appreciate their extensive knowledge and generous effort.”

– Rabeah Rawashdeh PhD candidate, Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering

“I am very lucky to have had the chance to work with Mrs. Renuka Shivaji. I consider her as one of my mentors during my graduate years. I have been very fortunate to meet and learn from a credible researcher, patient teacher, and motivated scientist as Mrs. Shivaji. She has provided me with valuable insight towards my PhD projects and has brought in her years and years of experience to assist a fresh researcher, like myself, how to analytically process her data and trouble shoot her experiments. I will always be grateful for the training, support and advice she has given me.”

– Effat Zeidan, Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, PhD candidate