- Sanger sequencing services to be discontinued at the University of Michigan in early 2020
- Negotiations with external service providers are currently in progress
- Sanger sequencing services will continue at the Advanced Genomics Core until the transition is final
- In the future, the Advanced Genomics Core will focus on adding value to genomics services
Dear University of Michigan Research Community,
For more than two decades, the University of Michigan Advanced Genomics Core (formerly the DNA Sequencing Core) has provided Sanger sequencing services to the Michigan research community. During that time the landscape of Sanger sequencing has changed considerably.
We have determined that our research community will be better served by discontinuing Sanger services and instead contracting with a commercial vendor who will offer a more valuable, convenient and cost-efficient solution than we are able to provide into the future.
During the early years of Sanger sequencing, technologies changed at least every few years, thanks in part to the Human Genome Project. That is no longer the case. For years now, everyone sequences plasmids and PCR products using the same standardized kits and capillary electrophoresis equipment.
Consistent with this commodity status, external vendors now offer convenient and scalable Sanger sequencing services. Many Michigan researchers already use these companies. An analogy can be drawn to oligonucleotide synthesis. What was once an important on-site activity is now best served by warehouse facilities that can operate at more favorable economies of scale.
We do not have a final vendor decision as of this message but wanted to make this preliminary announcement immediately as you will notice a few small changes in our current service due to necessary staff changes.
We ask that you please be patient with any small interim inconveniences. We understand that Sanger sequencing is a critical need for our research labs. Please be assured that our choices are intended to leave you with an even better Sanger solution into the future.
As for the Advanced Genomics Core, our time will be better spent working to maximize the added value of high throughput, or “next-generation”, sequencing and related genomic techniques. It can be dizzying trying to keep up with the nearly daily innovations in genomics—let us know how we can help you!
Thomas E. Wilson, M.D. Ph.D.
Professor, Departments of Pathology and Human Genetics
Faculty Director, Advanced Genomics Core
University of Michigan Medical School