The goal of the Comprehensive Genomics Shared Facility (CGSF) is to provide a spectrum of genomic technologies to support the mission of the University of Alabama-Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center (UAB-CCC). The CGSF accomplishes this goal by supporting the high-performance sequencing needs of the center, and providing complementary resources for the established Microarray Shared Facility. Technologies include several platforms for high-performance (next-generation) sequencing, high-throughput gene expression, SNP, DNA copy number, and cytogenetic assays via lllumina, Affymetrix, Agilent and Nlmblegen microarrays and real-time PCR assays. This facility is born from the need for enhanced genomic capabilities that do not fall naturally under the existing CCC facilities that focus on microarray analysis and high-throughput sequencing. Many of the needed technologies were already in place at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology (HAIB). Recognizing the efficiency of accessing the technologies available at the compared to building duplicate resources at UAB, the decision was made to create a shared facility that also helped to formalize our deepening collaborative relationships. The diverse technology platforms supported by the facility, in combination with an expert, experienced informatics staff dedicated to UAB-CCC needs and expert scientific leadership provides a comprehensive genomics shared facility to support the mission of the UAB-CCC and research needs of its investigators. Genomic technologies have rapidly become vital to nearly all aspects of biomedical research with particular value to cancer research. Over the last decade, cancer has become recognized as a disease of the genome, and over the last several years several large-scale projects such as The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) project have provided a foundation of knowledge that is just now beginning to be widely leveraged to enhance the analysis of virtually all types of cancer. The genomic and epigenetic changes that have recently been determined to be associated with cellular transformation along with the application of genomic technologies to not only analyze broad cancer types but to also individually tailor treatment regimens for specific patients underscores the importance of the Comprehensive Genomics Shared Facility to the UABCCC.
The underlying defects leading to cancer initiation and progression are increasingly linked to defects in, and damage to, genes. Genomic technologies such as high-performance (next-gen) sequencing have become vital and ubiquitous tools in cancer research. This shared facility provides UAB-CCC members access to these tools with the level of support necessary for the success of both basic and translational research programs. Therefore the Comprehensive Genomics Core meets an integral need of the UAB-CCC.
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