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INSTITUT DE BIOLOGIE DE L'ÉCOLE NORMALE SUPÉRIEURE

Introduction

Willing to get closer, the genomic platform of the Montagne Sainte-Geneviève and the high-throughput sequencing platform of the Institut Curie decided to create Genomic Paris Centre. This structure was officially created in July 2012 during the inauguration meeting of France Génomique. Genomic Paris Centre is contained on two sites: one at Institut de Biologie de l’École normale supérieure (IBENS), and one at Institut Curie.

This website only presents the activities of the IBENS platform of Genomic Paris Centre.

History

In 1998, Institut Curie, ESPCI and Ecole normale supérieure (ENS Paris), have established one of the first French platform dedicated to transcriptomic data output and analysis. Once created, the genomic platform of the Montagne Sainte-Geneviève has always willed to make genomic equipment reachable. The goal is to help laboratories with their high-throughput projects and popularize great-scale technics through the scientific community. By achieving these goals, we are recognized on national scale thanks to approvals from RIO (Réseau Inter Organismes : CNRS, INSERM, INRA et CEA) in 2002, RNG (Réseau National Génopôle) in 2005 and IBiSA (Infrastructures en Biologie Santé et Agronomie) in 2008.

As IBiSA renewed its approval in 2010, the genomic platform of the Montagne Sainte Geneviève went into partnership with the high-throughput sequencing platform of the Institut Curie. Genomic Paris Centre was taken on as partner by the France Génomique consortium, which is financed by the governmental funding program “Investissement d’Avenir”.

Functioning

Since the beginning, the genomic platform of the IBENS follows the recommendations of the IBiSA charter. The scientific community, as well as private companies, is welcome on our platform. Several committees were set up to follow the activities of the platform throughout time.

The state of progress of every project and the global functioning of the platform are checked monthly during a management committee.

Once a year, a scientific committee with members from the financing institutes (ENS, Institut Curie, Collège de France and Université Pierre et Marie Curie), suggests strategic orientations concerning equipment and functioning.

A users committee also meets once a year to discuss the platform’s results and technological orientations for the future.

Technologies

Our activity started with DNA microarrays. From 2002 to 2006, more than 8,000 microarrays were produced: pan-genomic DNA chips (mouse, yeast, fruit fly) and more specific projects (diatoms, nervous system development in mouse, repeated and CGH regions in human). These microarrays were related to more than 130 projects across 9 European countries, with users mainly from research institutes, hospitals and universities. Thanks to the improvement of the manufactured microarrays’ quality and the decrease of their costs, we transferred our local production to external suppliers – Agilent and Nimblegen - in 2006. Facing the rise of high-throughput sequencing in 2010, we gradually moved from DNA microarrays to RNA sequencing, ending our support for biochips in 2013.

From 2007, high-throughput sequencing has brought about a revolution in the genomic landscape. We have participated in this transition in 2008 with trial projects and we chose to emphasize on the data analysis automation. It was only in 2010 that we decided to invest in a high-throughput sequencing machine – an Illumina HiSeq – that was installed in spring 2011. This decision allowed us to acquire one of the most complete and reliable machine, but also to offer help in data analysis to our users as soon as the opening of our sequencing activity. However, amongst the large number of possible applications supported by this equipment, the genomic platform has chosen to focus on functional genomic applications such as RNA-Seq and ChIP-Seq.