I am happy to report to all investigators at the Saint John’s Cancer Institute that the Genomic Sequencing Center has brought on and trained two new employees within the last three months. Please join me in welcoming Linh Tran and Sue Ryu to the Saint John’s Cancer Institute team! Both have strong and unique molecular biology backgrounds and skill sets allowing us to reach higher levels in developing new assays and improving existing assays. As next generation sequencing (NGS) is constantly improving, we have remained adaptive while integrating new techniques into our research core. We are now listed as a core for HTG Diagnostics for SoCal and also a core for Illumina Inc. We anticipate that with increased staffing, we will be able to perform library preparation and NGS at a greater capacity, while still developing our techniques and assays to remain cutting-edge.

Since the nation-wide shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our department has remained open full time, 5 days a week, and has continued to provide services to important collaborators at Saint John’s Cancer Institute and other institutions such as: MD Anderson, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard. I am also pleased to inform that the Sequencing Center has published three manuscripts within the last three months in collaboration with Dr. Steven O’Day, Dr. Daniel Kelly, and members of the Melanoma and Cutaneous Oncology Department and Translational Molecular Medicine Department. Several others have been submitted and are being prepared from work through the Sequencing Center. Currently, we are working with multiple Saint John’s Cancer Institute departments such as: PNI (multiple investigators), Urology, OBGYN CA, Cutaneous Oncology, Endocrinology, and GI Cancer.

I invite those who are interested in working with us to please visit our page on the Saint John’s Cancer Institute website for more information about the NGS assays we can provide and how to design an NGS project using the best approaches available. All the different assays we perform are listed on the website. We also plan to have new state-of-the-art assays available this summer. I would also like to remind our Saint John’s Cancer Institute investigators that you may view the status of ongoing sequencing projects on Trello, a bulletin website for internal Saint John’s Cancer Institute users only, that we will update weekly to ensure investigators may track their project’s standing within the project queue. Internal investigators, please contact Sue Ryu at Suyeon.ryu@providence.org if you need access to the Trello board.

Thank you everyone for your continued patience during these difficult and uncertain times. We welcome your studies, and will continue to maintain operations as normal as possible, but with the current pandemic, circumstances may be unpredictable. Regardless, we are all doing our best to navigate effectively to ensure future success with all our collaborators. Feel free to contact Sue Ryu (Suyeon.ryu@providence.org) or Dr. Dave Hoon (Dave.Hoon@providence.org) for any further inquiries.

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About the Author

Fariba Ahdoot

Fariba Ahdoot is the Marketing Manager, Website and Digital Strategy, at the Saint John’s Cancer Institute. She interviews the physicians and researchers to provide useful content for patients, caregivers, and the community.