Science for Health
07 June 2012
A high-throughput interest group at NIMR has been widened to include participation by scientists from LRI and from other partners in The Francis Crick Institute.
High-throughput experimental techniques, or HTET, are becoming more important in biological research. By automating experiments, so that large scale repetition becomes feasible, large volumes of data can be generated and used to characterise biological systems. Common issues in HTET include: sample management information management, data transfer, data archiving, data storage, and data analysis. Microarray was probably the first technology to introduce HTET. The advent of new DNA sequencing technologies has seen HTET become mainstream and so solving their particular problems has become urgent.
The first microarray facility at NIMR was established over five years ago. It was based initially based in the Division of Mycobacterial Research but soon started serving other groups at the Institute. In 2010 the equipment was updated and the service became part of the Genomics Facility, along with the newly-established high-throughput sequencing service. The expanded facilities now have users from nearly all areas of research at the Institute.
Abdul Sesay (pictured), manager of NIMR’s Genomics Facility, started an informal interest group at NIMR in order to promote the Facility and to provide a way for its users to share their experiences. From 2012 the group expanded to include scientists from the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute (LRI). The most recent meeting had about 60 attendees drawn from NIMR and LRI, with speakers from both institutes.
There are three or four themed meetings a year. The meetings provide an opportunity for researchers to present projects they are working on and to gain feedback from colleagues. Past meetings have included a range of talks, such as:
Up to now the group has been focused on high-throughput sequencing and microarray. The next meeting will be devoted to microarray, but following that it is planned to broaden the scope of the group to include other high-throughput techniques, such as mass spectrometry/proteomics, and imaging. The group is also being extended to cover all Crick partners, including UCL, Imperial College and King’s College.
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