Shared Resource: Integrative Cancer Genomics

September 8, 2015
By: Karen E. Butler, Director of Communications, DCI

Graham Alexander, research analyst, prepares to utilize the PacBio RS II.The Integrative Cancer Genomics Shared Resource assembles Duke’s vast genomic technologies, enabling comprehensive consultation, seamless management of complex projects spanning multiple services, enhanced operational flexibility and economies of scale for support services.

“About two years ago, Duke Cancer Institute made a decision to merge the Microarray Facility and the Genome Sequencing and Analysis Core Facility to form a single core,” said Gregory Wray, PhD, who along with Holly Dressman, PhD, heads up the Integrative Cancer Genomics Shared Resource. “As a single core, we provide a full range of genomic technologies. It’s essentially a one-stop shop for genomic technology.”

According to Wray, investigators “drop off” projects and the shared resource “takes care of the rest.” The Integrative Cancer Genomics Shared Resource provides comprehensive genomic solutions, ensuring the latest and most complementary technologies available. Investigators can also obtain assistance with data quality control, versioning, statistical analysis and dissemination for these services.

Laura-Leigh Rowlette, lab manager, and Heather Hemric, research manager, view an Affymetrix GeneChip gene expression array.“By bringing everything under one roof, we can provide better service and make it much simpler for researchers to find the most appropriate application for their needs,” Wray said. “We encourage potential users to schedule a consultation to discuss their experimental design and analysis approaches in advance of securing our services. We can help ensure that investigators consider the entire arc of their project.”

Up to 71 DCI members currently utilize the Integrative Cancer Genomic Shared Resources, which supports a wide range of projects, including SNP discovery, mapping chromatin modifications, measuring mRNA levels (single genes, cancer panels, entire transcriptome), sequencing exomes, whole genome sequencing, identifying DNA methylation and mapping transcription factor binding sites through a variety of genomic technologies.

Members of the Integrative Cancer Genomics Shared Resource team.“We host an extensive suite of state-of-the-art instrumentation, which means we offer DCI members access to a wide range of instrumentation platforms for genomics research,” Wray said. “As a result, investigators choose the platform that best fits their needs.”

Services offered include access to instrumentation and drop-off facilities. Each service incorporates specific policies which can be accessed by visiting the DCI website. Duke Cancer Institute members always receive scheduling priorities. An initial consultation is free of charge for DCI members.

“Although we normally charge $60 per hour for assistance, with grant proposal preparation, we waive the fee for Duke Cancer Institute members,” said Wray.

The Cancer Genomics Shared Resource has labs in two locations. Sequencing services are located in 119 of the Biological Sciences building at 130 Science Drive. Microarray, RT-PCR and single cell genomic services are located in Room 2208B CIEMAS Building at 101 Science Drive. For more information on the Integrative Cancer Genomics Shared Resource, email Greg Wray at or Holly Dressman at (pictured in the circle image above) or visit Integrative Cancer Genomics. (UPDATE: This Shared Resource is now called Cancer Genetics and Genomics.)