Jonathan Gilkerson

Jonathan Gilkerson

Jonathan Gilkerson

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. — Shepherd University’s College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics received a $30,095 grant from the West Virginia IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence to purchase a Bio-Rad CFX384 Real-Time PCR Detection System.

Jonathan Gilkerson, assistant professor of biology, said the machine offers the opportunity to use the latest technology for a variety of research projects.

Gilkerson said he’s using quantitative PCR to study gene expression, the process by which cells use information encoded in genes to direct the synthesis of proteins via an RNA intermediate. What genes are expressed determines an organism’s traits. Quantitative PCR measures the abundance of the RNA intermediate as a way to assess if a particular gene is turned on or off under different conditions.