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Washington University Opens Genome Technology Access Center

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Washington University in St. Louis has opened a new Genome Technology Access Center (GTAC) to provide researchers with DNA sequencing, microarray, and quantitative PCR services.

The new center, which is a separate entity from the university's Genome Institute, will provide high-speed genome sequencing and other services to scientists on a fee-for-service basis.

Based at the Washington University School of Medicine, the GTAC is staffed by a group of nearly 20 geneticists, molecular biologists, and informatics specialists who will prepare DNA samples for sequencing and analyze and interpret the genomic data. The center has already begun providing sequencing and analysis services to researchers at WUSTL and St. Louis University and to regional companies including Sigma-Aldrich, Pfizer, and Nestle.

The GTAC is providing sequencing on Illumina HiSeq 2000 machines, of which it has five, and it offers whole-genome sequencing and analysis projects, DNA and RNA characterization, and microarray and quantitative PCR tools.

"DNA sequencing has become the go-to technology in many fields," Jeffrey Milbrandt, the James S. McDonnell Professor of Genetics and head of the genetics department, said in a statement. "But not every scientist has the specialized training to prepare DNA samples, analyze the data and interpret the results. We saw a real need to fill these gaps and to expand access to the technology."

"We have the full range of technologies needed to perform genetic analyses," added Seth Crosby, the center's director and research assistant professor of genetics.

"Scientists don't have to know the details of a particular technology. We can walk them through the various options and help them select the best one based on the research questions they want to answer," Crosby said.

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