Laboratory Science

Research Leaders: Associate Professor Abha Chopra and Associate Professor Mark Watson

Multi-disciplinary practice combines expertise in clinical medicine, laboratory science, bioinformatics, biostatistics and project management in a quality management framework to achieve excellence in research. Using automated robotic platforms we achieve efficiency, reliability and reproducible results. Sequencing capacity has extended to whole genome analysis of viruses, bacteria and targeted regions of the human genome.

Our laboratory is competitive, providing proprietary software developed in house for the analysis of voluminous, complex raw data arising from second generation sequencing platforms (Roche and Illumina). We offer rigorous sample handling and tracking processes, laboratory accreditation and technical innovations including adapting HLA ‘callers’ to work with Illumina (MiSeq), the platform superseding the Roche 454. One of our key software packages “Visual Genome Analysis Studio” VGAS has increased the volume of data that can be handled.

We are developing methods to sequence T-Cell Receptors (TCR) from single cells. The TCR is important in recognising HLA antigen combinations; this research will be relevant for drug hypersensitivity, responses to treatment and viral latency.

  • Automated, high-throughput and integrated data generation configurable for project requirements across molecular and cellular experiments

  • Bioinformatic analysis and interpretation, applied to automated output, essential for extracting meaningful results and making inferences.

  • Advanced next generation sequencing technologies using the Illumina NovaSeq 6000, NextSeq, MiSeq and iSeq platforms for high-throughput HLA sequencing and deep sequencing of viral genes, enabling detection of viral variants.

  • The Oxford Nanopore technology is also being beta tested. TCR deep sequencing kits from Adaptive Technology, the leaders in this area have been successfully used with the MiSeq platform.

  • Customisable Laboratory Information and Management system, facilitates automation of laboratory processes, ensuring data and sample integrity.

  • R&D adaptive capability to develop immunogenetic or pathogen sequencing techniques, statistical and bioinformatic methods, based on novel biological models.

  • Established legal, financial, regulatory and IRB experience.

  • A reputation for cost-effectiveness and rapid turn-around time.

  • International accreditation.

  • Clinical expertise in immunogenetics and transfer of knowledge into improvements in clinical practice.