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Overview

The Cancer Genomics Research Laboratory (CGR) is a dedicated laboratory located in Gaithersburg, MD and provides genomics research support to NCI's Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG). CGR supports DCEG in all stages of cancer research from planning to publishing, including experimental design and project management, sample handling, genotyping and sequencing assay design and execution, development and implementation of bioinformatic pipelines, and downstream research and analytical support. 

Currently the CGR utilizes a variety of technology platforms to assess human genetic variation.  Platforms and technologies include: 

  1. Single SNP detection via TaqMan™ fluorescent 5’ nuclease cleavage with detection on the Applied Biosystems 7900; 
  2. Illumina bead-based SNP array multiplexing technologies, both for genome-wide discovery and targeted custom analysis; 
  3. Illumina genome-wide methylation arrays; 
  4. Relative telomere length analysis; 
  5. 16s microbiome sequencing; 
  6. HPV typing and whole genome sequencing; 
  7. Sequencing of large human genomic regions, including whole exomes and transcriptomes, as well as targeted sequencing and analysis using seven platforms (Illumina HiSeq2500/4000, Ion Torrent Personal Genome Machine (PGM), Ion Torrent Proton, Ion Torrent S5, Illumina MiSeq, Illumina NextSeq 500, and PacBio) in conjunction with a wide range of sequence capture and targeting techniques/protocols.

The CGR also includes the DNA Extraction and Staging Laboratory (DESL).  This highly automated laboratory is responsible for all DCEG specimen preparations including extractions, sample staging (quantification, normalization, and profiling), generation of run-ready plates for genotyping and sequencing applications within CGR, and specimen aliquotting for use by collaborators around the world.  

The CGR processes tens of thousands of samples annually and all work is tracked via a customized, highly integrated Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS).  This system is also connected to NCI Biological Specimen Inventory (BSI) database and pushes updates nightly to BSI so investigators and study managers understand DNA availability and quality, as well as usage of samples in various projects.

In addition to the Production Genotyping and Sequencing and DESL groups, the laboratory also includes the following teams to support the breadth of projects performed with DCEG investigators:  Project Management, Administration, Research & Development, Functional Research, Technology Implementation, Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC), LIMS Development, Bioinformatics and Analysis, and IT Core Services.


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