Using next-generation technologies, high-throughput sequencing of nucleic acids (DNA or RNA) provides an enormous volume of sequences with many possible applications for research and diagnostic development. The GIS sequencing platform provides access to the most contemporary instrumentation, charged at the correct price point and in a cost-efficient manner. We have a clear policy of providing open access for all users.
Sequencing technologies form a core element of many researchers’ needs to measure DNA and RNA variation in research specimens. Broadly, current applications for sequencing platforms include:
- Research in human genetics (including human samples)
- Research in non-human genetics (biodiversity projects involving plants and animals)
- Single cell genomics
- Cancer genomics
- Validation of gene editing (CRISPR) screens
- Pathogen outbreak monitoring/environmental quorum sensing
- Sequencing technologies for toxicology and characterisation of foodborne pathogens, food authenticity, and the discovery of allergens in novel food sources
- Development of emerging sequencing technologies (e.g. long-read sequencing) to meet future technological needs
Being one of the earliest adopters of next generation sequencing platforms in Singapore, the GIS had the opportunity to test and optimise various sequencing library preparation methods, together with a suite of increasingly sophisticated sequencers. This has allowed GIS to pioneer innovative methods that increase efficiency and reduce cost.
The GIS sequencing core has remained an internationally competitive platform through the following:
- Providing cutting-edge instrumentation and techniques to all users
- Offering cost-effectiveness and highest cost savings
- Earning a strong degree of trust from users
- Successful delivery of project results to users and collaborators
We have identified several opportunities for the sequencing platform, including:
- Contribution to the National Precision Medicine Program (NPM), where genome-wide profiling of >100,000 Singaporeans is planned. This is an opportunity for GIS to contribute >15 years' experience in genomic research to a new, large-scale national effort. GIS’ overall experience in large data (knowledge of parameters, constraints and requirements), sample handling to minimise errors and others, can be tapped upon to establish protocols for the smooth implementation for whole genome sequencing in NPMP.
- Our lead in adopting Oxford Nanopore Technologies’ long-read technology in Asia opens an opportunity for performing long-read sequencing on NPMP projects to provide another dimension - whole genome structural variation - to this national resource. We also foresee a strong opportunity for the platform to be the regional service provider for Oxford Nanopore Technologies’ long-read technology.
- Closer collaboration with public and research institutions with potential needs for sequencing on a moderate to large scale (e.g. in the fields of disease research such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, neurological and ophthalmological diseases, environmental pathogen sensing, food security). These ‘demonstration projects' would help to build a seamless, shared utilisation of genome sequencing in our daily lives by further developing trust between all parties.
Next Generation Sequencing