The Genomics Facility (GF) was created by merging previously approved CCSG cores (Research Cytogenetics and Laser Capture Microdissection, DNA Microarray, and Cancer Prevention Biomarker and Genotyping Facilities) in order to increase cost-effectiveness and efficiency, consolidate space, increase intellectual and technical communication among staff, and provide cross-training important for laboratory stability. In addition, the Real-Time PCR service, previously part of the Biochemistry &Biotechnology Facility, was integrated into the merged GF to avoid redundancy. This merger was recommended by a Facility Parent Oversight Committee (FPOC). The FPOC is an institutional committee comprised of a Faculty Chair and mid to senior level faculty. The FPOC mandate is to prioritize CCSG funded shared resources. The GF consists of four component services: Cytogenetics &Chromosome Microarray Analysis, Laser Capture Microdissection (LCM), DNA Microarray, Genotyping and Real-time PCR. The Cytogenetics and Chromosome Microarray Analysis services performs classical cytogenetics and molecular cytogenetics, as well as high-resolution DNA copy number analysis for the detection of genomic imbalances, including chromosomal deletions and amplifications. The LCM service provides instrumentation and expertise needed for isolating pure cell populations from heterogeneous tissue specimens. The purified DNA, RNA or protein from captured cells can be used for a wide range of downstream applications such as gene expression analysis, DNA sequencing, and proteomic assays. The DNA Microarray service provides investigators with gene expression analysis solutions for cancer research. The services of this unit include microarray experimental design, RNA sample labeling, hybridization and scanning. The Genotyping and Real-time PCR service provides various platforms and expertise for genome-wide and targeted DNA and RNA analyses as well as quantitative real-time PCR services. Thirty-six peer-reviewed, funded investigators utilized the GF in CY2009. Merging the previously distinct cores has provided both operational and economic advantages. The institution has provided contiguous laboratory space for this merged operation to promote synergies such as cross training, sharing of equipment and efficiency of workflow. In addition, the merger has produced real cost savings. Unifying the operation has reduced by 1.7 the total FTE's dedicated to providing these services previously as separate cores.
The GF addresses the genomic and gene expression needs of the Center's Pis, many of whom conduct research aimed at understanding the genetic and epigenetic underpinnings of tumor formation and progression. The Facility assists investigators to unravel biomarkers or molecular signatures of cancer that may improve patient care by affording advances in the earty detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
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