The Center for Biomarker Research and Precision Medicine (CBRPM) is housed in McGuire Hall and Annex on the university’s Medical College of Virginia Campus. Our laboratory suite, covering over 2,000 square feet, includes a specialized genomics and epigenomics laboratory, a behavioral laboratory and a pharmacogenomics laboratory as well as a dedicated freezer room for long-term sample storage at -80°C. The laboratories houses several state-of-the-art equipment including a SOLiD 5500xl Wildfire next-generation sequencer, a NextSeq 500 desktop sequencer, advanced robotics for sample preparation and sequencing library construction, a PyroMark Q96MD targeted pyrosequencing platform, and a Muromachi 10kW microwave system for tissue fixation. All laboratory equipment is maintained in a temperature-controlled environment. The main instruments including sequencing platforms and freezers are connected to emergency back-up power, which ensures that data generation and sample storage is uninterrupted and protected. Furthermore, CBRPM is hardwired to VCU’s high performance computing facility and all sequence data is auto exported to this computing facility where we have over 130 TB of dedicated storage space for (sequence) data.
Specialized Genomics and Epigenomics Laboratory. This laboratory suite consists of several separate laboratory spaces, each designated for specific aspects of genetic and epigenetic nucleic acid research. Thus, each area and the applied work procedures are carefully optimized to minimize risks of contamination and to maximizing the throughput while keeping the quality of the data at the highest possible level.
In addition to the major equipment described above, our genomics and epigeniomics laboratory suite houses standard equipment such as: a Gold 96-w GeneAmp PCR System 9700 (Applied Biosystems), a four station Eppendorf Mastercycler Pro system, two additional single Eppendorf 96 well Mastercycler Gradient Thermocyclers (Eppendorf), several refrigerators (including flammable materials storage) and -20°C freezers, an automated aliquot system (Genetix), an APX60 precision microbalance (Denver Instruments), a UV Crosslinker CL-1000 (VWR International), Thermo Micromax and Eppendorf microfuges, an Eppendorf 5810R 4x96 well plate centrifuge, a Tuttnauer 2340 bench top autoclave, Milli Q Direct 8 water system (Millipore), vortexes, digitally-controlled water baths and heated blocks, hybridization chambers, pH meter, etc.
Behavioral Laboratory. This laboratory is specifically designed for behavioral research. It is equipped with computer-controlled, automated locomotor activity monitoring devices, pre-pulse inhibition devices and conditioning chambers.
Pharmacogenomics Laboratory. This laboratory area is set up for biomaterial collection and extraction, primarily for studies of central nervous system drugs. For immediate fixation of tissue, the laboratory is equipped with a 10kW microwave tissue fixation system (Muromachi) and liquid N2.
Freezer Room. CBRPM has two Thermo Ultima II -80°C freezers on site in the McGuire facility, and maintains additional freezer space for collaborative projects in the Virginia Biotechnology Park, adjacent to the MCV Campus. Located in Smith Building two Thermo Scientific High Prerformace -30 freezers that are monitored 24/7 and investigators are automatically alerted of any unusual fluctuations in temperature.
VCU Center for High Performance Computing
CBRPM is linked through a LAN and is hardwired to VCU’s high performance computing cluster (godel.vcu.edu), which consists of ~1200 Opteron 64 bit and Intel 64 bit cores, each with at least 3 GB RAM/core, and 4.2TB of total RAM. The servers are connected by QDR Infiniband connections. Connected to this cluster CBRPM has 130 TB storage space that is exclusively dedicated for the center’s use.
Updated Aug 2015