John Walker, Ph.D.
Thanks to genomic research, the last few years have witnessed an explosion of information that is one of the unrivaled advances in the history of science - a wealth of new genomic data and genomic technologies in such abundance that there is now a tremendous need to manage the data and make the tools more widely available.
In our Gene Expression Core, we provide numerous services for scientists at GNF and for our outside collaborators, including advice on experimental design, preparation of samples, acquisition of data, and analysis of results. For further analyses, we provide comparisons with reference datasets including the Gene Expression Atlas and our own in-house data, and we train users in various software analysis packages.
Our group has been using the Illumina deep sequencing platform since 2007 to support GNF drug discovery programs. We aid in elucidation of the mechanisms of action of proprietary compounds and discovery of therapeutic drug targets. We engage scientists early with discussions on appropriate technology applications, experimental design, and anticipated data interpretation. We prepare Illumina sequencing libraries from biological samples, and along with GNF’s Bioinformatics group, analyze the resulting data. Our assays include whole genome and whole transcriptome targeted RNA and DNA sequencing from a wide range of organisms of interest to our biology groups. We are also exploring DNA barcoding readouts from our high throughput screening efforts in order to streamline target discovery. Rather than attempting to build a large sequencing facility, we develop, modify, or adopt applications to meet the needs of our research groups. Our deep knowledge of GNF’s biology, high throughput screening, and genetics programs have allowed us to contribute significantly to our drug discovery programs over the past decade.