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New Central Institution for the Decoding of Genome Sequences

Press Release No. 301/2010
3 December 2010
Heidelberg University opens a new Core Facility for research groups in life sciences

Heidelberg University is about to open a state-of-the-art service institution for the research groups in life sciences and medicine at Heidelberg University that deals with the decoding of genome sequences. The “CellNetworks Deep Sequencing Core Facility” located in the BioQuant building supports scientists in so-called Deep Sequencing. This computer-based technology is used to read the exact sequence of genotype and is considered the new generation in sequencing technology. The new facility will be officially opened on 7 December.

As a central institution, a Core Facility offers specialised services for research projects. It provides both expertise and equipment for complex methods that individual research groups do not normally have at their disposal. The CellNetworks Deep Sequencing Core Facility is funded by the Cluster of Excellence “Cellular Networks”, the Initiative “Heidelberg Molecular Life Sciences” (HMLS), which is part of the Institutional Strategy, and the Centre for Organismal Studies Heidelberg. The Facility provides users with advice on project planning, prepares samples, carries out sequencing and provides assistance with data analysis. The services cater for all life-science research groups at the Heidelberg University and both medical faculties in Heidelberg and Mannheim.

The novel technology enables research labs at Heidelberg University to perform highly innovative projects. Deep Sequencing means that every element of a genome is read several times in order to attain extremely high accuracy. Genome sequencing is used, for example, to identify pathological mutations. In further developing its methods, the new Core Facility closely collaborates with the GeneCore Facility at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and a research group at the Medical Faculty Mannheim.

During the inauguration on 7 December, Prof. Dr. Joachim Wittbrodt, head of the Steering Committee, and Prof. Dr. Gabriele Petersen, head of the Core Facility, will introduce the services and the equipment the Core Facility offers. Other speakers are Dr. Benes from EMBL GeneCore, a collaboration partner, and Dr. Wolfgang Mers (Illumina) and Dr. Nancy Bretschneider (Genomatix), who will introduce the technologies used in the Facility. 

Note for news desks: The inauguration is scheduled for 3 pm on Tuesday, 7 December at the BioQuant building, Im Neuenheimer Feld 267, room 041.


Prof. Joachim Wittbrodt
Centre for Organismal Studies
phone +49 (0)6221 546499

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