Welcome to NUSeq!
NUSeq is a new core facility that provides full next-gen sequencing (NGS) capability to Northwestern University. The core brings together in-house NGS data generation and bioinformatics support in a single integrated operation. As the only Northwestern core facility dedicated to NGS, NUSeq serves all NU researchers on both the Chicago and Evanston campuses, as well as those at external academic and commercial organizations.
Click here for a list of NGS and other genome research services we provide.
Email NUSeq@northwestern.edu, or call us at 312-503-3331 (director) or 312-503-3702 (lab).
NUSeq and Illumina Provide Pilot Funding for 25 Biomedical Research Projects
The NUSeq Core Facility, in collaboration with Illumina, provided a total of $55,363 to 25 Northwestern research projects via a Pilot Project Program launched in November 2017. The goal of the program was to provide seed money to investigators to generate preliminary data for grant proposal submissions. Due to the overwhelming response to the call for applications, Illumina increased their support to the current level from the originally planned $15,000.
Investigators from the Feinberg School of Medicine, McCormick School of Engineering & Applied Science, and the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences received pilot funding for a range of research topics, including:
- Cancer biology
- Developmental biology
- Environmental microbial metagenomics
- Infectious disease
- Stem cells
- Liver, skin, and kidney diseases
The pilot fund awarded for each project will be used by the NUSeq Core Facility to provide next-gen sequencing data generation services on the Illumina HiSeq and MiSeq sequencers. Using the preliminary results generated from this program, scientists will then compete for a combined $33.5M in research funding from the NIH, NSF, DoD, DOE, Environmental Research & Education Foundation, and the US-Israel Binational Science Foundation. NUSeq will continue to support investigators awarded funding by agencies with genome technology and bioinformatics analysis.
About NUSeq Core Facility
The NUSeq Core is a shared resource facility that serves investigators at Northwestern University, affiliated institutions, and external academic and commercial organizations. The facility provides a wide range of next generation sequencing and microarray services, including bioinformatics analyses. Other services include DNA extraction, cell line authentication, DNA/RNA quality control, and Sanger sequencing.
Illumina is the leading provider of next generation sequencing technologies for biomedical research. Next-gen sequencers offered by Illumina generate highly accurate sequencing reads for a wide range of applications, from multi-whole-genome analyses, transcriptome, to highly targeted analyses such as cancer gene panel sequencing. The company is the global leader and a mjor driving force in the precision medicine arena. NUSeq operates a fleet of all major next-gen sequencers manufactured by Illumina.
New Service Offerings
High-throughput Single-cell RNA Sequencing
The 10x Genomics Chromium System for Single-Cell RNA-seq is now available at NUSeq! Large numbers of single cells (100-80,000+) can be analyzed by RNA-seq for applications like cell population heterogeneity analysis and rare cell type detection. This RNA-seq service is offered through a collaboration with the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. In addition to high-throughput scRNA sequencing, NUSeq also provides a manual scRNA-seq service for small numbers of single cells (<100).
Cell Line Authentication Service
NUSeq has recently developed a new service for cell line authentication in response to the increasing scientific community requirement for scientific rigor and reproducibility. This new service is based on the use of STR (Short Tandem Repeat) profiling. NUSeq uses a forensic-grade kit (AmpFLSTR® Identifiler® Plus PCR Amplification Kit) for profiling 15 tetranucleotide repeat loci and the Amelogenin marker (for gender determination). The STR marker status on the result report is then used to search existing cell line STR databases (such as that maintained by ATCC) for match.
Expanding Research Infrastructure
We are pleased to announce the installation and full operation of new Illumina MiSeq (available since September ’17) and Illumina HiSeq 4000 (since June ’17) next-gen sequencers at the NUSeq Core Facility.
The system can generate 25 million single reads or 50 M paired-end reads, up to 15 Gbp sequence data in 4-56 hours, up to 300 bp in read length. The Illumina MiSeq sequencer is used for applications including:
- Microbiome 16S rRNA sequencing
- Small genome de novo assembly and variant analysis
- Small RNA sequencing
- Targeted DNA or RNA sequencing
- Screening of CRISPR/Cas9-induced gene editing events
Illumina HiSeq 4000
The Illumina HiSeq 4000 was funded by a Searle Leadership Fund award. This sequencing powerhouse provides unparalleled data output and sample throughput with exceptional data quality. The sequencer generates 10 billion reads and 1500 Gigabases in each run, supporting a broad range of research projects including: whole genome sequencing, RNA-seq, ChIP-seq, DNA methyl-seq, microbiome shotgun sequencing, and cancer risk gene panels.
NUSeq offers extremely competitive pricing for sequencing performed using this new instrumentation. On the HiSeq 4000 – starting from $725 per lane for 300-400 million 50 bp single reads – all sequencing runs have the lowest running costs in the Chicago region and are among the lowest in the nation.
Advancing Discovery Through Cutting-Edge Genomic Technologies
Q&A with Xinkun Wang, PhD, director of the NUSeq Core Facility in the August 2017 Feinberg School of Medicine Research Office Breakthroughs newsletter.
NUSeq featured in the Northwestern Core Facilities video
Xinkun Wang, PhD
Research Associate Professor
300 E. Superior Street
Telephone: (312) 503-3331
Fax: (312) 503-3210
Matthew Schipma, PhD
Research Assistant Professor
750 N. Lake Shore Drive
Telephone: (312) 503-5324