Genomics Shared Service
Director: Nicholas Ambulos, Jr., PhD
The mission of the Genomics Shared Service (GSS) is to enable genomic studies in a robust basic, clinical, and translational cancer research and health care environment by providing specialized expertise, cutting-edge technologies, and resources to educate investigators.
The GSS applies current bioinformatics approaches to analyzing both simple and complex datasets. The GSS interacts with other shared services to create comprehensive, seamless pipelines to facilitate and simplify access by UMGCCC investigators. The GSS provides members access to cytogenetic analysis of gross and fine chromosomal aberrations; basic genomic tools including Sanger-based DNA sequencing; gene expression analysis and genotyping; high-throughput sequencing capabilities using Illumina and Pacific Biosciences technology; and genomics resources that support translational research, clinical trials, and personalized health care through College of American Pathologists (CAP)–accredited clinical labs. The GSS also facilitates development of bioinformatics approaches to analyze genomic data in the context of relevant biological questions.
Impact to the Cancer Center
With its origins dating back nearly 30 years, the GSS continues to evolve, expanding its breadth of genomic technologies and making them available to UMGCCC investigators. As a metric to demonstrate impact, the GSS is one of the most broadly used shared service, supporting 84 of the 257 members of UMGCCC (33 percent).
The large number of cancer-related publications supported during the last 5 years (in excess of 150) in high-impact journals, including Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Nature Medicine, Science, Science Signaling, and Journal of the American Medical Association, is also a key metric to gauge the success of the GSS.
The GSS has made significant contributions to the Cancer Center's major research discoveries and now, through its CAP-accredited clinical labs, will bring that same high level of support to clinical research and clinical care. As such, the GSS is unique among UMGCCC shared services, allowing support for discovery as well as translation into clinical application.
The Biopolymer/Genomics Core Facility serves as the "genomics core facility" for a number of centers within the University, including:
- The University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center
- The School of Nursing's UMB Center for Pain Studies
- The Baltimore Diabetes Research and Training Center
- The Mid-Atlantic Nutrition Obesity Research Center
- The School of Medicine's General Clinical Research Center
- Genomics Resource Center
- Provide cutting-edge tools and resources to accelerate the pace of genomic discovery in cancer research.
- Provide support to implement precision medicine approaches for cancer patients.
- Provide a seamless pathway from experimental planning and initial analysis of the raw data to advanced analysis in a biological context.
- Offer members educational resources, consultation, and training opportunities to increase their ability to more effectively integrate genomic studies into their research programs.
Nicholas Ambulos, Jr., PhD