USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center

An NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center

Molecular Genomics Core

Uncovering the genetic and epigenetic sequence variation that underlies the predisposition, initiation, and progression of cancer is critical within the field of cancer research. As such, the mission of the Molecular Genomics Core (MGC) is to provide services for industry-standard and state-of-the-art molecular and genomic assays in support of USC Norris investigators working across the continuum of basic, translational, clinical and population sciences. The MGC scientific leadership works with USC Norris investigators on the planning, design, conduct, analysis, and reporting for molecular cancer research studies. Thus, the MGC serves as a key foundational element enabling infrastructure and providing molecular platforms and assays for all five USC Norris Research Programs.

MGC Services

      • Consultation on study design and implementation for research incorporating molecular genomic technologies or methodologies, including consultation for single cell profiling and spatial transcriptomics.
      • Sample preparation to improve success: compromised blood samples, blood spots, FFPE, fresh frozen specimens, live tissue/cells for single cell profiling, and plasma for cell free nucleic acid profiling. Lab automation systems enable high throughput sample preparation and analyte extraction (including FFPE).
      • Genotyping: RT-PCR, Microarray SNP genotyping, including Q-PCR (QuantStudio 7) for higher quality data.
      • Next Gen. Sequencing: Targeted, whole exome, whole genome bulk sequencing, mRNA-seq and whole transcriptome bulk sequencing, including access to Illumina NovaSeq6000 for high throughput sequencing.
      • Single Cell and Spatial Profiling: single cell DNA and RNA profiling capabilities, and Spatial RNA profiling.
      • Epigenomics: microarray DNA methylation, targeted DNA methylation by NGS, whole genome bisulfite sequencing, ChIP-seq by NGS, ATAC-seq by NGS, single cell ATAC-seq.
      • CLIA sequencing services include: clinically-validated targeted tumor sequencing for pediatric cancers.
      • Bioinformatic and analytic services (with the Data Science Core).
      • Centralized access and ordering of primers from IDT, and Sanger sequencing from Genewiz.
      • Training for USC Norris faculty and trainees on technology assays, and biomedical informatics tools

MGC Policies

      • MGC operates from 9am-5pm Pacific Standard Time Monday-Friday.
      • Members contact MGC to inquire and request a quote based upon sample size and receive a rapid response from the Laboratory Manager and Administrator (USC Norris members can also request consultation on the best technology or methodology for their research). A central email contact is used to enable quick responses to users’ questions/inquiries.
      • MGC uses standard approaches for service fees; USC Norris full members receive a 10% subsidy on services.
      • MGC will provide an initial free consultation to those requesting Core services to determine the feasibility and scope of a project. The potential outputs of the initial consultation period will be a feasibility assessment, project scope, and project plan including cost estimate and timeline. Once the project plan is developed and agreed upon, all further activities will generate Core charges.
      • MGC website includes information on available services, and MGC services are also highlighted in Grand Rounds presentations and program meetings.
      • MGC sets and communicates project turnaround timeframes with their users, with high adherence.
      • At least annually, all equipment undergoes vendor maintenance checks.
      • Acknowledgment of the Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center CCSG grant (NCI grant # P30CA014089) in scientific manuscripts is required when MGC services have been provided.

MGC Leadership

Daniel Weisenberger, PhD