The role of the genomics core is to support the research projects carried out by the center by providing state-of-the-art transcription profiling and data mining capabilities over a wide range of sample types. The center will have access to a facility that has been in continuous operation for the past 7 years. It has benefited from a continuous investment on the part of the Baylor Health Care System and has at its disposal state of the art genomic analysis instruments and IT infrastructure. Data will be generated on the high-through and cost-effective Illumina BeadArray platform in a strictly controlled laboratory environment to insure the highest data quality and reproducibility. Other transcriptional profiling technologies are also available through this core, such as real-time PCR or NanoString platforms. A team of bioinformaticians has been integrated to the core in order to develop and maintain the data management infrastructure that constitutes the backbone of its operation. Custom data management and mining solutions are available for the optimal exploitation of large volumes of microarray data. Bioinformatics and biostatistics support will also be made available to individual investigators for the analysis of their microarray results. The microarray core at BUR has carried out projects at the interface between the fields of genomics and immunology, and gained significant expertise in profiling: a) blood of patients with a wide range of diseases;b) small cell numbers isolated from tissues or cell cultures;c) blood exposed in vitro to a wide range of innate stimuli;and d) blood cultivated in the presence of antigenic peptides. Support will be provided across all the projects and mechanistic components of the clinical trials that are being proposed. More specifically, ex-vivo blood profiles will be generated in the context of project 1 (Pascual), while responses to antigen re-stimulation in culture will be profiled in the context of project 2 (Ueno) and the pilot project (Chaussabel).
Systems scale transcriptional profiling has become a mainstay for the study of the human immune system. The expertise involved in the preparation of samples, data acquisition and analysis is considerable and well beyond the capabilities of individual laboratories. Centralization is also driven by: a) the high cost of instrumentation and associated IT infrastructure, and b) higher reproducibility/comparability of the data.
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