Genome Laboratory

The Imperial BRC Genomics Laboratory, managed by Anna Zekavati, is located on the 4th floor of the Commonwealth Building at Imperial's Hammersmith Campus. In addition to Illumina HiSeq4000, NextSeq500 and MiSeq sequencers, the Laboratory maintains all other equipment required for sample QC, sample library preparation and sequencing.

Tabs - Genome Laboratory

Sequencing Systems

Illumina HiSeq 4000

Hiseq4000The HiSeq 4000 platform builds on the proven performance of the HiSeq 2500 and leverage the patterned flow cell technology of the ultra-high-throughput HiSeq X Systems to deliver high sequencing speed and performance. Offering high coverage, fast turnaround times, and the flexibility to process various sample types, the HiSeq 4000 provides a multi-application solution for production-scale genomic laboratories. The HiSeq 4000 System delivers high-throughput at a low price per sample across a range of genomic applications. The HiSeq 4000 can sequence up to 12 genomes, 100 transcriptomes, or 96 exomes in fewer than 3.5 days. This high capacity means more samples can be sequenced simultaneously at a greater depth, generating rich and meaningful data. The dual-flow cell HiSeq 4000 can process one or two flow cells in parallel and provides high output and daily throughput with a capacity of 1.5 Tb and 5 billion reads per run.

(Image copyright, Illumina Inc.)




Illumina NextSeq 500

Nextseq 500

The NextSeq 500 delivers the power of high-throughput sequencing with the speed, simplicity, and affordability of a benchtop next-generation sequencing (NGS) system. The NextSeq 500 has two run modes, high- and mid-throughput, enabling a flexible platform to handle a range of different types of projects. Whole-genome, transcriptome, and targeted resequencing applications can be performed with a rapid, one-day turnaround. Data are generated in as little as 12 hours for a 75-cycle sequencing run and less than 30 hours for paired 150-cycle reads. The NextSeq platform integrates cluster generation, sequencing by synthesis, and base calling into a single system.

(Image copyright, Illumina Inc.)


Illumina MiSeq

Illumina MiSeq The Illumina MiSeq is the only personalised sequencing system capable of automatically producing paired-end reads with a very fast run time, ranging from 3.5 hours to 55 hours (based on the chemistry and type of the run). The single lane flow cell can output up to 15Gb or 25 million paired-end reads per run and integrates amplification, sequencing and data analysis in a single instrument.

(Image copyright, Illumina Inc.)










Other Equipment

Agilent Technologies Bravo Automated Liquid Handling Platform

The Facility has access to a Bravo Platform that by using seven different, easy-change liquid handling head types, numerous platepad options, and over 60 on-deck accessories, it can be customized for a wide range of NGS assays.

Promega GloMax® Explorer System

The GloMax Explorer is a plate-reading luminometer, fluorometer and absorbance detection system of DNA and RNA. It is a high-performance multimode detection instrument providing superior sensitivity and dynamic range for both strong and weak bioluminescence experimental samples.

Agilent Technologies Bioanalyser 2100

The Bioanalyzer is a microfluids based capillary electrophoresis machine for sizing, quantification and quality control of RNA, DNA, and protein. It is the de facto standard for qualitative and quantitative analysis for next-generation sequencing applications. Its advantages include high reproducibility, short run times and high sensitivity with low sample quantities.

Agilent Technologies 4200 TapeStation

The TapeStation, based on a screenTape Technology, is also an automated gel electrophoresis system with flexible throughput and 96 well plate compatibility for sizing, quantification and quality control of DNA, RNA and Protein analysis. The advantages include it’s suitability for Genomic DNA and providing DNA Integrity Number (DIN), which was not achievable by Bioanalyzer.

Life Technologies StepOne Plus Real-Time PCR System

Real Time PCR (or qPCR) is a method to  amplify and simultaneously detect nucleic acids for quantification in real time. Detection occurs via fluorescent DNA binding dyes or probes. Real Time PCR Thermo Cyclers allow for smaller amounts of starting material and shorter run times by eliminating post-amplification steps. qPCR is used to quantify sequencing libraries. The StepOne Plus system is a 96-well real-time PCR instrument.

Covaris E220x DNA Sonication System

The Covaris sonication system is used for fragmentation of nucleic acids by mechanical shearing. A focused millimetre wavelength acoustic is targeted directly at the sample contained in a closed tube. As opposed to bath sonicators, focused sonication does not generate heat, preventing thermal degradation of the sample and eliminating the need for rest periods to allow the sample to cool down. Focused ultrasonication is the method of choice for fragmentation in next-generation sequencing applications due to its high sensitivity and reproducibility. The Covaris allows accurate fragmentation in the 100 – 1500bp or 2 – 5kb ranges. The E220 enables multi-sample batch preparation from 1 to 96 samples in a single batch.

 Illumina NeoPrep Library Preparation System

 The Illumina NeoPrep is a microfluidic library preparation system that performs the complete library preparation process, including quantification and normalisation. Automation of the libary preparation process reduces hands-on time, increases reproducibility and improves library quality.