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Genomics Facility

Housing state-of-the-art hardware and unrivalled expertise in next generation sequencing technologies (NGS), the Genomics Facility supports researchers within The Institute of Cancer Research and partner institutions across the UK to accelerate discovery science and progress towards precision therapies.

Close up of the NextSeq 2000, a bright, cube-shaped machine, and a hand stretched out to touch the machine's screen

Image: The NextSeq 2000

About the facility

Established in 2013 as the Tumour Profiling Unit (TPU), and now rebranded as the ICR’s Genomics Facility, the Facility provides access to a range of cutting-edge techniques for genomic, transcriptomic, epigenomic, spatial and single cell analysis.

It was the first in the UK and Ireland to deploy the Illumina NovaSeq 6000 system, still the gold standard for NGS experiments.

Who we work with

The Facility works in collaboration with researchers and clinicians at the ICR and external academic groups to support research studies on the genetics and molecular biology of cancers and the development of new targeted and personalised approaches to treatment. The Facility is also available for use by external customers.

Our team

The team includes highly experienced scientists and bioinformaticians, providing tailored advice on experimental design and delivering reliable and bespoke solutions for cancer genomics projects.

Sequencing

A wide range of sequencing options are available at the Genomics Facility. In addition to the Illumina NovaSeq 6000, NextSeq 2000 and MiSeq sequencers, the team is developing capacity in long read technology at a partnering facility.

Experimental workflows we support


  • Whole genome sequencing (WGS)
  • Whole exome sequencing (WES)
  • RNA sequencing (Total and mRNA)
  • DNA methylation profiling (with enzymatic conversion)
  • TCR and BCR profiling in human and mouse
  • Single cell analysis (BD Rhapsody, Parse Bioscience, 10X Genomics)
  • Spatial transcriptomics using 10X Genomics Visium for F/F and Formalin-Fixed Paraffin-Embedded (FFPE) samples
  • Spatial transcriptomics using Nanostring GeoMx (in collaboration)

Our expertise

The Genomics Facility has extensive expertise in working with FFPE samples for WES and RNA sequencing and hosts an automated liquid handler to provide the required accuracy, reproducibility and turn-around times.

The team of bioinformaticians is responsible for data processing, standard and custom analysis and integration of sequencing data sets. Automated pipelines for variant calling, CNV detection, structural rearrangements, expression analysis, etc are built around industry-standard and open-source software. The team also provides detailed analysis for single cell and spatial transcriptomics.

Furthermore, the Facility investigates new approaches for the development and implementation of novel or improved genomics workflows and runs pilot projects to test and compare multiple assays in collaboration with researchers.

Contact us

For more information, please contact the Facility manager Shichina Kannambath (shichina.kannambath@icr.ac.uk) or the Facility at GenomicsFacility@icr.ac.uk.