Who Uses eCAT


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Alex Swarbrick’s lab at the Garvan Institute uses eCAT to allow everyone in the team to manage shared facilities, reagents, results and ideas in its work investigating the molecular pathways that are mutated or deregulated in cancer.

“eCAT is absolutely essential to the running of my lab. Everyone uses it as an electronic notebook, so they can compile the diverse collections of data that we generate as biologists, such as images and spreadsheets. We use to it to take minutes of meetings. We also use it to manage our common stocks of antibodies, plasmids and so on. Finally, perhaps the most important feature for us is the ability to link records, reagents and experiments. This allows us, for example, to connect an experimental mouse with the tube containing its tissues in the freezer, to the 6 different experiments (conducted over a year) that analysed those tissues in different ways. Managing this kind of ‘metadata’ is absolutely essential to our work, and very difficult to do without tools like eCAT.

I think eCAT will be become more important as the group grows, since it becomes harder to keep in touch with everyone’s work. For example, I can use eCAT to remind myself of recent experimental results without hassling someone in the lab. It also facilitates collaboration within and outside of the lab. I also know that data is being properly catalogued and experiments are being written up and that all this is backed up every night. Since everyone uses the same interface, it is easier for new people to understand the way the lab works and to pick up on projects.”

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