This proposal bring together 2 separate shared resources at Geisel School of Medicine who propose to share usage of the ISCAN system for 2 different clientele. The primary will be DartMouse, a shared resource that literally serves a national clientele of primarily NIH funded researchers in scanning SNPs in genomes of mouse samples to identify regions of genetic contribution from different mouse backgrounds. The service is used for 1) speed congenics (transferring a transgene into a different genetic inbred background, 2) background checks (validating the actual mouse backgrounds in mice or mouse cell lines) and 3) mouse GWAS studies. DartMouse started as a local service for Dartmouth researchers and quickly responded to demand from other academic users so that now we have served 170 users from over 100 institutions and have assayed over 5400 genomes in the last 7 years with a current usage of over 1000 genomes per year. We attribute our current success to the fact that we are researchers and we really understand academic researchers and their needs in mouse genetics. Specific aspects at which we excel are: accuracy and quality control, affordable price, rapid turnaround, proprietary data analysis program that generates easy to understand mapping information of strain contribution to each chromosome.The second user of the requested instrument is the Genomics and Molecular Biology Shared Resource (GMBSR), which offer a variety of genomics services. Those that are specific to the Illumina iSCAN instrument include, 1) human transcriptome arrays, 2) human methylation arrays, 3) mouse GWAS arrays and 4) human GWAS arrays. Transcriptome profiling via microarray studies remains a main stay application for several research projects. Often researchers have historical data sets and wish to continue using the same platform for their future studies. Due to the relatively low price and quick turnaround times, microarrays are ideally suited to high throughput studies such as human methylation studies. Dartmouth Genomics and Molecular Biology Shared Resource (GMBSR) is supported by the Bioinformatics core, directed by Chris Amos, and the ease of analysis of transcriptome, GWAS and methylation array data is a major consideration for researchers undertaking these kinds of studies. Thus, even with the development of Next Generation Sequencing, (which we also offer at Dartmouth), our microarray business has remained steady, and we anticipate with the addition of the Illumina iSCAN and the ability to offer novel services, including methylation and GWAS capabilities that our business will continue to grow.
The availability of the iScan system as requested in this proposal will support a broad array of NIH funded research in basic and in translational biomedical research. The NIH funded proposals are all evaluated on the basis of relevance to public health and the equipment will enable a large array of NIH funded projects to more efficiently accomplish their aims and this will in turn positively impact public health.