GenoLogics, a leading developer of lab and data management software solutions for life sciences research, based in Victoria, British Columbia, today announced that the University of Alberta has selected Geneus™ for their informatics infrastructure and scientific data management system. GenoLogics installed Geneus™ at the Alberta Transplant Applied Genomics Centre (ATAGC) at the University of Alberta in September of this year.

Today, ATAGC is conducting diagnostic gene expression and transcriptomics research with the aim to develop new molecular diagnostics for organ transplant recipients. The research involves using gene expression microarrays to understand transplant rejection events, and has led to the identification of a series of gene expression (transcript) sets that provide new robust quantitative measurements for assessing rejection.  These sets form the basis of a potentially new diagnostic system to use in conjunction with the current pathology system.  In the future, they expect to use proteomics and metabolomics research to augment the research they are conducting, and they also plan to partner with pharmaceutical organizations to develop commercial therapeutic drugs to counter organ rejection.

Dr. Philip Halloran, Director of the Alberta Transplant Applied Genomics Centre, stated, “The challenge of applying the new sciences is that they are so rich in data – in information.  To be successful in bringing the new genetic sciences to the bedside requires new approaches to managing information.  We are doing this in organ transplants now, but every area of medicine will eventually be changed by these new technologies.”

The Geneus solution will be used primarily as a scientific data management system (SDMS) to handle the data management component of the Centre’s gene expression and transcriptomics research. Geneus will provide the research informatics infrastructure to handle the Centre’s massive amount of scientific data, for example, an Affymetrix GeneChip® microarray with over 50,000 genes in a single experiment. Geneus also provides a powerful LIMS which the Centre will use to handle lab operations and sample tracking and management.  

The Alberta Transplant Applied Genomics Centre is devoted to using microarrays and other methods for gene expression both for new diagnostic insights and for exploring disease mechanisms. The Centre is in the process of establishing a service where research conducted on understanding the mechanisms and biological events associated with rejection of transplanted organs may be made available to other labs, institutions and clinicians. ATAGC has a unique database that houses gene expression data that comes from patient biopsies along with the related patient information, in which confidentiality and privacy are completely protected.  This comprehensive database provides a view of molecular events and how the relate to clinical events, which can be used by researchers across multiple sciences within the University of Alberta and elsewhere.  

Initially, over 50 people consisting of lab technicians, researchers, bioinformaticians, and physicians will access and use this system. The Geneus solution will scale as the Centre expands and to enable collaboration between many remote users (through GenoLogics’ LabLink™ web collaboration system) and access to data across multiple labs.  As the Genomics Centre grows, this configurable informatics platform can be adapted on the fly to include processes and workflows for other sciences.  

The ATAGC needed a robust, flexible system, purposed for their science, with an open database schema.  They also wanted to work with a collaborative and experienced team that could implement a production solution quickly, and that provided long-term informatics services and support. GenoLogics met these requirements.