FSU Translational Science Lab Helping to Solve Genomic Puzzles

Hannah Hull
July, 2021

As a primary faculty member at the Translational Science Lab (TSL) at the FSU College of Medicine, Dr. Yanming Yang is responsible for next-generation sequencing (NGS) services. Together with other TSL members, he has been providing NGS services to over 180 principal investigators from about 120 institutions around the world.

NGS is a massive parallel sequencing technology, which has become the backbone for modern biological science and medical research. With sample innovations and new data analysis approaches, NGS allows researchers to perform a wide variety of applications in genomics and related studies, including the control of diseases caused by genetic disorders and epigenetic factors, phylogenetics and epidemic patterns of diseases such as COVID and its variants. This provides the fundamentals for developing corresponding vaccines.

TSL is well equipped with modern facilities in genomics and proteomics studies. The NGS facility at TSL offers a platform for decoding the genetic secrets of the biological and medical community. Its capability of massive DNA sequencing in a short period of time greatly enhances the advance of scientific research and development of disease controls. Each sequencing run can output up to four terabytes of DNA sequence data within two days. The production of sequence data in such large amounts imposes a big challenge in data storage and manipulation of downstream analysis. These services require instant and reliable computing and storing resources. The Research Computing Center (RCC) and its high-quality service in solving technical issues can provide the required resources for the NGS pipeline operations.

Yang and the TSL team contribute to the advancement of our understanding of life by supporting research. The team reveals genomic information on a broad scope of biological and medical research areas at depth never considered possible before.  “Most research units don't have this kind of facility, so they send samples over here to process. Then we send the sequence data to them,” explains Yang. “This is an improvement for all molecular biology studies.” Thanks to RCC resources, the sequencing facility runs smoothly, storing large datasets from each run that represent outputs from up to 20 billion sequence reads.

“I am glad to take this opportunity to say something about my work and our relationship with the RCC, so more people know the RCC is important,” states Yang. “The RCC is indispensable for us.”