Stanford: functional genomics facility
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Tools for capturing the functional state of a cell or collection of cells have advanced rapidly in the last decade. Prominent among these are a variety of DNA microarray technologies. In particular, complementary DNA microarrays have made it practical to inexpensively quantify the expression of thousands of genes in parallel. This mode of analysis has been used to observe gene expression variation in a variety of human tumors and other tissue as well as a number of single cell organisms and plants. We intend to provide a facility whereby Stanford medical and other researchers have easy access to the most advanced functional genomic technologies at nominal cost. Researchers will be able to access the facility at a number of levels. At the highest service level, clinical researchers can submit tissue and have results on the relative expression or protein level functional state of the sample returned to them. If more control is desired, the researcher can join in the process at any number of points, all the way down to collaborating with the facility on protocol and instrumentation development. The Functional Genomics Facility will provide an environment where biologists and engineers can work together. Because of the rapidly evolving nature of the underlying technologies, a core facility with strong academic ties will be in a good position to innovate or take advantage of innovation. The facility will be guided in its development by experimenters needs and not by any particular technology choice. However, we do anticipate using the progress made in the production of low cost cDNA microarrays to be a well-defined launching point for the facility.



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