Bioinformatics Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between the Bioinformatics Core and the Advanced Genomics Core?

Although these two Cores frequently partner with each other, the Bioinformatics Core performs data analyses, while the Advanced Genomics Core performs the actual sequencing of samples. They are two independent Cores, each with their own associated fees.

What will be the cost of sequencing my samples?

The Bioinformatics Core handles the data analysis and not the sequencing of samples. To determine the cost of sequencing your samples, please contact the Advanced Genomics Core.

How quickly can I expect to get my results?

We always aim to deliver results as quickly as possible.  However, as many bioinformatic analyses incorporate discovery and research, it is difficult to accurately estimate the time necessary to produce results.  The exact turnaround time depends on many factors including the complexity of the analysis to be performed as well as the core’s overall project load.  We do our best to complete projects in a timely manner and keep researchers updated on any changes to the expected timeline.

I would like to learn how to do my own bioinformatics analyses. How can I receive training?

The Bioinformatics Core can provide 1-on-1 training for a fee; please email bioinformatics@umich.edu for more information. However, there are many freely available resources for self-learning. Please see the Training webpage to learn more about these opportunities.

Does the Bioinformatics Core provide letters of support for grants?

Yes, the Bioinformatics Core is always happy to provide a letter of support. Please email bioinformatics@umich.edu with the title of the proposal, the PI, and the funding agency.

Do you offer support like reviewing methods and addressing reviewer comments?

Yes, please contact us at bioinformatics@umich.edu to determine the amount of support needed and if any charges might apply, such as for figure generation.

Do you analyze microarray data?

Yes. Although our expertise is focused on the analysis of NGS data, we can analyze microarray data.

Do you analyze protein & metabolomic data?

We are happy to analyze non-NGS data, often in collaboration with other core facilities.

I am planning an RNA-Seq experiment and would like to do a power analysis. Is this something that the Bioinformatics Core will do?

For a small fee, the Bioinformatics Core can perform a power analysis to inform your RNA-Seq experiment. However, there are also tools, such as Scotty, that allow you to do a power analysis yourself.

Does the Bioinformatics Core perform analyses for groups outside of the University of Michigan?

Yes, the Bioinformatics Core is happy to perform analyses for organizations outside of the U-M, including other academic institutions, government agencies, and commercial organizations. There is a 40% surcharge for external customers.

How should I cite the Bioinformatics Core?

It is important to document the use of each Biomedical Research Core Facility by investigators in publications. This facilitates efforts to obtain funding for our Cores and their continued functioning. Please recognize the core’s contribution in the Acknowledgment section of your publications: “We acknowledge support from the Bioinformatics Core of the University of Michigan Medical School’s Biomedical Research Core Facilities(RRID:SCR_019168).” If core staff has added scientific value to your project— made intellectual contributions in design, analysis, and interpretation of data and/or manuscript writing, then please consider including them as co-authors in your publications.