The Centre for Genomic Sciences (formerly known as Genome Research Centre) was established to provide leadership in genome research in Hong Kong and the region by developing expertise and infrastructure for studies in genomics, proteomics, and bioinformatics. It also aims to facilitate the translation of knowledge into applications for the understanding of disease mechanisms and for the development of diagnostic and therapeutic measures.
The Centre has participated in the International HapMap Project, in collaboration with other major genome centres around the world. During the outbreak of SARS in 2003, the Centre supported the Departments of Microbiology and Zoology in the identification and subsequent sequencing of the agent of the disease. The Centre also undertook the whole genome sequencing project of Laribacter hongkongenesis. Centre scientists are developing methodologies for studying the role of genetic variations in disease, and have identified genetic loci that contribute to Mendelian and complex disorders.
The Centre contributes to multidisciplinary research through experimental design, data generation, data analysis and bioinformatics support. The scope of our collaborative projects covers genetic linkage and association studies, transcriptome analysis of various tissues and diseases, novel mutation detection by exome and other targeted sequencing, metagenomics, and de novo assembly of new genomes.
The Centre also offers professional Core Services with advanced high-throughput technology platforms such as the Affymetrix GeneChip, the Sequenom MassArray, the Bio-Plex suspension array and the Pyrosequencer. Other fundamental tools such as DNA sequencer, real-time PCR, bioanalyzer, fluorescence image scanner and oligonucleotide synthesis are also provided. Next-generation sequencing platforms using Illumina GAIIx and Roche 454 GS FLX, as well as the Raindance (for target enrichment) are also available. The Core Service platforms have served over 600 researchers since its establishment with a current monthly average of 360 jobs.
The Centre is very active in outreach to promote genomics in the forms of public forums, mass media interviews, conferences, workshops, technology seminars, and education and training to students, postdoctoral fellows, scientists and clinicians.