The Genomics Core Facility

The Core Genomic Facility was established in 1994 to provide a DNA sequencing service to University of Sheffield researchers.

Over recent years our service has expanded and we now offer a number of different services including: DNA ExtractionCell Line IdentificationMicrosatellite Analysis, and Mouse Genotyping. In addition to scientists at the University of Sheffield, we have also served researchers from a host of UK and European academic institutes in addition to private sector companies.

Please submit any comments using our feedback form.

We offer a range of services including:

  • DNA Sequencing
  • Mouse Genotyping
  • Cell Line Identification
  • Microsatellite Analysis
  • DNA Extraction
  • Nucleic Acid Quantification
  • TaqMan Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) Analysis
  • Liquid Handling Projects

The facility houses a host of equipment including:

  • Applied Biosystems 3730 DNA analyser
  • 7900HT Real-Time PCR systems
  • Beckman Coulter Biomek NX robotic workstations
  • Chemagen Chemagic Magnetic Separation Module. 
  • MJ Research PCR machines
  • Blitz Protein Analzer

Core Facility Director

Dr Franco di Giovine has been the Director of the Genomics Facility since 2001. He also directs the Sheffield Biorepository and is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular Disease.

Academic biography for Dr Francesco S di Giovine.

Genomic Core Facility Staff

Contact us

The Core Genomic Facility is housed within Sheffield University Medical School which is attached to the Royal Hallamshire Hospital.

Customers are welcome to come along to the facility either to drop off samples or discuss their research with the team.

Access is via swipe-cards so visitors from outside the Medical School are advised to telephone the facility in advance to ensure that a member of the team is available to let them in. Alternatively you can get in touch with us via email, telephone or by mail using the details below.

Postal Address

Core Genomic Facility
FU27/28 Medical School
University of Sheffield
Beech Hill Road
Sheffield
S10 2RX

Email: dnahelp@sheffield.ac.uk

Telephone: +44 114 215 9650


Our services

DNA Sequencing

DNA Sequencing Process

Our DNA sequencing service utilises Applied Biosystems' 3730 DNA Analyser.

We routinely use BigDye v3.1 but have developed specially modified protocols for difficult to sequence samples, for instance those with high GC content or secondary structures.

Special rates apply for samples supplied in a 96 well plate that are to be sequenced using a single primer.  For information on all our charges please see our FAQs.

Please submit any comments using our feedback form.

Template Guidelines

We request you supply per reaction:

10ul of plasmid DNA in water >100ng/ul; or 10ul PCR product at 50ng/ul.

Plasmids should be highly purified; and PCR products should be treated to remove excess primers and dNTPs. The facility can perform clean-up of PCR samples for a small charge. We use an automated magnetic bead method for this. 

Sample Collection

Samples can be dropped off in our FU28 laboratory within the Medical School.

However, we do have a number of other methods for you to get you samples to us.

We have drop boxes on B-Floor of the Medical School and near the Porter's lodge in Firth Court.

These are emptied after 3pm Monday-Thursday and at 12pm on Friday.

You can also send us samples in the post:

Floor F, FU27/FU28
Medical School
Beech Hill Road
Sheffield University
Sheffield
S10 2RX

If you have any questions about your sequencing request or data you have received, contact us at dnahelp@sheffield.ac.uk or come and see us in FU28.

Sequencing Request Form

Sequencing Sample Layout Form

Mouse Genotyping

Mouse Genotyping

We can extract DNA from tail or ear clips and run this with any primers that you require.

These PCR products are then run on an agarose gel to identify bands. A report describing the presence of relevant bands is then sent to you along with the gel image.

There are two cost components associated with this service: (1) DNA extraction, and (2) PCR reaction with gel analysis.

If you have any questions about your mouse genotyping request or the data you have received please contact us at dnahelp@sheffield.ac.uk or come and see us in FU28.

Cell Line Identification

The cross-contamination and mis-identification of laboratory cell lines is a common problem across biomedical research.

It is estimated that 25% of all established lines are mis-classified by cell type or species of origin.  As well as being good practice, regular testing of cell lines is now often required by peer reviewers.

Our Service

To check the identity of your human cell line we perform short tandem repeat (STR) analysis of ten loci. GenePrint® 10 provides co-amplification and four-color detection of ten loci, including all ASN-0002-2011 loci (TH01, TPOX, vWA, CSF1PO, D16S539, D7S820, D13S317, D5S818) plus Amelogenin and D21S11.

Researchers can either supply DNA for direct testing, or for a small extra charge, we can extract DNA from cells prior to running the assay.

Due to the nature of the assay, charges vary depending on the number of lines being tested.  For further information please contact us.

Promega UK Cell Line Identification

If you have any questions about your cell line identification request or the data you have received, contact us at dnahelp@sheffield.ac.uk or come and see us in FU28.

Real-Time PCR

Real-Time PCR Instrumentation

The facility houses two Applied Biosystems 7900 Real-Time PCR machines which are available for hire to trained researchers from the University of Sheffield. 

Both of these are set up for 384 well plates and machine A also has a block for Applied Biosystems' microfluidic cards and 96 well plates if required.

University of Sheffield customers should generate a purchase order via myCatalogue using code 9098-004 and quote this on the booking sheet.

If you have any questions about real-time PCR machine usage, contact us at dnahelp@sheffield.ac.uk or come and see us in FU28.

Microsatellite Analysis

Microsatellite Genotyping

Microsatellite analysis is performed on the Applied Biosystems 3730 DNA Analyser enabling size discrimination within the range of 20 to 600 base pairs using a range of dyes.

Facility staff are available to advise researchers on approaches to microsatellite genotyping and we therefore encourage prospective users to contact us to discuss assay strategies.

University of Sheffield customers can find ordering information in our FAQ section.

If you have any questions about your microsatellite analysis request or data you have received, contact us at dnahelp@sheffield.ac.uk or come and see us in FU28.

PCR Machine Hire

Thermocyclers

Several thermocyclers are available in the facility for hire to researchers from the University of Sheffield.

These include both 96 well and 384 well blocks.  Gradient PCR protocols can be run on two of the 96 well blocks. 

University of Sheffield customers should generate an order number via myCatalogue using code 9098-005 and quote this to facility staff when booking a machine.

If you have any questions, please contact us at DNAhelp@sheffield.ac.uk

DNA Extraction

DNA Extraction Service

The Core Genomic Facility has expertise in extracting DNA from a host of sample types including whole blood, various tissue and blood cards. 

Using our Chemagen automated extraction system we routinely extract DNA from up to 10ml of blood with yields in the region of 200 micrograms.

For other samples we use a variety of kits from the leading manufacturers.

Once your DNA has been extracted we can also quantitate and normalise your samples for you as detailed on our Nucleic Acid Quantification tab below. 

Due to the nature of this work, charges vary dependent on number and type of samples.

If you have any questions about our DNA extraction service that please contact us at dnahelp@sheffield.ac.uk or come and see us in FU28.

Nucleic Acid Quantification

DNA / RNA Quantification

We use the latest fluorescence-based techniques to accurately quantitate DNA and RNA samples.

This service can be offered in conjunction with nucleic acid extraction as detailed here or as a standalone service.

Once your samples have been quantitated we can also normalise them for you using our Biomek robots.

Due to the nature of this work, charges for this service and our nucleic acid quantitation service vary dependant on number and type of samples. 

If you have any questions about your nucleic acid quantication request or the data you have received please contact us at dnahelp@sheffield.ac.uk or come and see us in FU28.

TaqMan Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) Analysis

Single Nucleotide Polymorphism Analysis

The facility offers a genotyping service for Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) using Applied Biosystems' TaqMan method. 

We can provide a full service for this technique or alternatively trained University of Sheffield researchers can run their own assays on one of our 7900 real-time PCR machines. 

Due to the nature of this work, charges for this service vary, dependant on the number of samples for instance.  For further information please contact us.

University of Sheffield customers wishing to run their own assays should generate an order number for 7900 usage via myCatalogue using code 9098-004 and quote this on the booking form.

Robotic Liquid Handling

Robotics

The facility houses several  Beckman Coulter Biomek liquid handling robots, both 96-channel and 8-channel.

These machines are used for a variety of techniques including DNA cleanup, nucleic acid concentration normalisation and template re-plating.

Access to these machines is strictly limited to our trained staff who are able to set up programs specific to your needs.  For further information please contact us.

Blitz Protein Analyzer

Blitz Protein Analyser

With this machine you are able to:

  • Determine protein presence/absence instantly
  • Analyze binding kinetics at your bench
  • Quantitate proteins in seconds
  • Develop immunoassays in minutes

Please contact us to book the machine.


Our charges

University of Sheffield customers can find further information below, in the section about order number generation.

Charges for external customers are £3.95 per reaction for DNA sequencing or £4.35 if PCR clean up is required. We also offer a special price of £300 for up to 94 samples sequenced using the same primer if supplied in a 96 well PCR plate, please contact us for details.

If you wish for a template to be sequenced on both strands, please note this counts as two reactions.


How to generate an order number if you are a researcher from the University of Sheffield

In MyPurchase go to Shop, then MyCatalogue and in search box type required catalogue number:

Services Cat No.
DNA Sequencing Reaction and Run 9098-001
Cleanup + DNA Sequencing Reaction and Run 9098-002
1 plate, 1 primer, DNA Sequencing R&R 9098-003
Clean-up only 9098-010
7900 Real-Time PCR usage 9098-004
PCR block usage 9098-005
Microsatellite run (up to 48 samples) 9098-009

Then add quantity, click yellow basket icon then the yellow checkout button. Fill in cost assignment details, click continue and click order. Please quote the PO number (80000XXXX format) on your request sheet.

If the services you require are not in MyCatalogue, please contact us and we can give you an individual quote and purchasing details.

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