Shared Resource Spotlight: Genomic Sequencing
Next-generation sequencing has revolutionized genomics research, enabling researchers to sequences hundreds to thousands of genes at time. Sequencing an entire human genome – what would have taken over a decade with previous Sanger sequencing technology – now can be done within a day. With next-generation sequencing, it possible not only to look at individual genomes, but also to rapidly compare genetic sequences among multiple genomes. These approaches can be used to determine differences in genomes and gene transcripts from person to person, between populations, and between normal and pathologic cells in cancer.
The Genomics Sequencing Shared Resource is directed by Olivier Couronne PhD, and is jointly operated by the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Columbia Genome Center. The core provides researchers with a state-of-the-art genomics sequencing facility and access to advanced next-generation sequencing technologies. It offers a variety of successful and widely adopted tools for conducting next-generation sequencing, including the Illumina NovaSeq 6000, Illumina NextSeq 500/550, and Illumina MiSeq. Although next-generation sequencing follows standard protocols, it can also be customized to address factors such as specific research goals and the researchers’ budget.
The core accommodates next-generation sequencing projects of all sizes, including both large and small runs. Unlike larger industrial sequencing facilities, this core has no minimum sample size, which makes it cost-effective to perform advanced, higher-risk applications that are often more expensive at other centers. Pilot projects are encouraged as well, and trained users have 24/7 access to the NextSeq to sequence their libraries.
Future plans include an acquisition of a NextSeq 2000 to replace the 550, which will operate faster, cheaper, and allow for longer reads applications. Dr. Couronne leads a dedicated and experienced team who also provide its users with project consultation and expert analysis.