DNA Lab: Innovation

At its core, research in the Pritzker Laboratory is dedicated to using state-of-the art molecular techniques, supercomputers, and cryogenic storage of samples to analyze, explain and preserve the Earth's genetic biodiversity. Species by species, Field Museum scientists are drawing all the branches in the Tree of Life. These branches map the relationships among all species on Earth—millions upon millions of animals, fungi, plants, and other macroscopic and microscopic organisms that are built from the same four chemical bases of DNA. Specific projects in the lab range from National Science Foundation funded "Assembling the Tree of Life" grants that are resolving relationships among the major lineages of birds, beetles, spiders, bivalves, liverworts, and fishes to the bioprospecting of venoms for pharmaceuticals.