Quantitative Genomics Facility
The Quantitative Genomics Facility (QGF) is a central research and service facility located in the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering (D-BSSE) of the ETH Zurich in Basel, supported and run jointly with the University of Basel and the Friedrich Miescher Institute (FMI) for Biomedical Research. The QGF team provides technical support for next generation sequencing applications in genomics and epigenomics, including high-throughput data management and analysis.
In parallel with the human genome sequencing effort, several new technologies have emerged that allow sequencing at unprecedented throughput and low cost. These technologies are generally referred to as "Next Generation Sequencing (NGS)". They have enabled a large diversity of applications from genome resequencing to identify variations within populations to quantification of mRNA and small RNA expression and the abundance of various epigenetic marks.
In order to take advantage of these powerful technologies, scientists from the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering (D-BSSE), University of Basel (DBM, Biozentrum) and FMI established a NGS unit, which is housed by the D-BSSE. It currently comprises an Illumina GAIIx and a HiSeq2000 sequencing machine as well as storage and a data analysis pipeline.
Chromatin-IP combined with NGS (ChiP-Seq) to identify binding sites of proteins on DNA or specific histone modifications is one type of application frequently making use of the QGF facility. Another comes from the new field of metagenomics that emerged due to the ability to sequence DNA from diverse biological communities in ecosystems or in infectious diseases. Sequencing of hundreds of cancer genomes is yielding an unprecedented wealth of information about how this deadly disease restructures the genome. It has become evident that NGS technologies will revolutionize many areas of biology and medicine.