Next Generation Gene Sequencing Facility is Open
Article from THE HINDU- Vellore March 24, 2017
The Department of Hematology, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Has Set up a Next Generation Sequencing Facility
It will help to diagnose genetic disorders and identify the gene causing the disease within a week.
The Department of Hematology at Christian Medical College (CMC), has set up Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) Facility primarily for research on genetic disorders and to develop and validate diagnostic services.
Funded by the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, as part of the Centre of Excellence grant, the NGS facility has come up at the extension of hematology laboratory on Katpadi Road. Note: You can read more about the Centre of Excellence Grant in this excerpt from our 2015 Annual Report.
The department has joined hands with MedGenome, a genomics-based research and diagnostics company, to collaborate on research projects using the NGS platform, according to Vikram Mathews, professor and head of Department of Hematology, CMC.
This in-house facility will facilitate an interface between technologists and clinicians, he said and added that it would serve as a core research facility at CMC. The facility would be staffed by three senior scientists — R.V. Shaji, B. Poonkuzhali, Eunice Sindhuvi E. — professors of the department along with 29 life science graduates.
DNA extracted from any biological material such as blood or saliva will be sequenced in this facility for diagnosis and research of genetic disorders.
“Till now, Sanger Sequencing was being used for DNA sequencing and identification of mutation,” Dr. Shaji said. He added that the “NGS facility enables us to know which gene/mutation causes the disease within a week.”
NGS can run 24 samples simultaneously. Single genes are involved in certain diseases while multiple genes are involved in others such as Fanconi Anaemia. Dr. Sindhuvi said that the NGS facility enables analysis of multiple genes at one time and provides much simpler results. Dr. Mathews said the hospital has been sending 100 to 200 samples to outside facilities for diagnosis and research purposes each a year. “As we have the facility in-house now, I expect the number of samples will exponentially increase. The cost will be reduced for the patients.” he added.
Dr Mathew pointed out that in future, they plan to expand the facility to other platform technology from the present DNA to protein and proteomics.