Browse views: by Year, by Function, by GLF, by Subfunction, by Conference, by Journal

Brief summary of history of your core platforms

Oakeley, Edward James (2016) Brief summary of history of your core platforms. Chimia, 70 (12). pp. 883-888.


At the start of the century (2000) Novartis recognised the need for strong genomics support within research. Two groups were established: "The Genome Factory" (Novartis AG) and the "Functional Genomics Group" (Friedrich Miescher Institute, part of the Novartis Research Foundation). Both groups brought the (then) new microarray technology to eager researchers keen to leverage this new power for gene expression and variant analysis. At that time this technology was new to everyone and many groups were being created across Switzerland. Michael Primig (Biozentrum, Basel), Ralph Schlapbach (ETHZ), Patrick Descombes (University of Geneva) and Edward Oakeley (FMI) met in Basel in early 2001 and the Swiss Array Consortium was born. Other groups quickly joined and by 2002 the list included: The Biozentrum (Basel); University of Bern; Friedrich Miescher Institute (Basel); Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Zurich); Swiss Institute for Bioinformatics (Lausanne); Institute of Clinical Pathology (Bellinzona), Hospital Cantonal Universitaire and the Department of Biochemistry, University of Geneva. The goal was to promote and accelerate post-genomic biological research by working together to evaluate technologies and through shared experiences and develop informatic tools to enhance research in Switzerland.

The creation of the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (NIBR) in 2004 resulted in the transfer of "The Genome Factory" from Novartis to NIBR and its rebranding as "Genomic and Genetic Applications" (GGA) within the Biomarker Development (BMD) group. In 2009, GGA expanded its portfolio to include short read NGS technologies in addition to microarrays. Demand for the new sequencing capability exploded and by 2012 a degree of specialisation began to appear with the establishment first of the molecular pathway sequencing group (in DMP) and later, in 2013, the Genomics group in Analytical Sciences and Imaging (ASI). This specialisation allowed the groups to focus on the distinct needs of: clinical sequencing (BMD); molecular pathway analysis (DMP) and exploratory genomics (ASI) but with a shared technology base and core competences.

Space on the Novartis campus became available at the end of 2015 which permitted the three groups to become co-localised into a single centre of excellence for genomics research and collaboration, providing a wide range of shared platforms to scientists across the organisation. These currently include both short and long read NGS platforms, Nanostring as well as more traditional microarray and PCR capabilities.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Core lab Swiss Array Consortium Genomics
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2017 00:45
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2017 00:45


Email Alerts

Register with OAK to receive email alerts for saved searches.