National Centers for Translational Research in Reproduction and Infertility
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RNA Sequencing Core (RSC)

The main objective of the RNA Sequencing Core (RSC) is to provide users with efficient, high quality, and
cost effective access to cutting-edge sequencing technologies. These sequencing technologies will be used
by all members of this U54-proposal, and made available to other U54 centers. Importantly, all members of
this U54 rely on access to these technologies to achieve their project goals. By centralizing sequencing at
the RSC, sequencing will be performed at a lower cost and with greater efficiency that would be possible for
individual users. The RSC will use high-throughput next-generation sequencing in two different applications.
The first application will be to quantify the abundance of all messenger RNAs (mRNA) in a sample as a
readout for the overall physiological state of a cell because all proteins are encoded by mRNAs. The second
application will be to identify all small RNAs in a sample; small RNAs regulate the production of proteins by
interacting with mRNAs. RSC staff will validate RNA sample quality, generate libraries for high-throughput
sequencing, and perform the sequencing at the Cornell Genomics Facility. Cornell University will provide
space for the RSC in the Biotechnology building, which also houses the Cornell Genomics Facility and is
also where Drs. Grimson and Grenier, the RSC director/co-director, have their offices. The computational
analysis of sequencing data often represents a bottleneck for the adoption of these technologies by
biologists and physician-scientists. The RSC will remove this impediment by providing professional
computational support and advice to users. In particular, the RSC will establish computational pipelines to
analyze mRNA and small RNA sequencing data. The RSC will sequence human samples, including samples
from patients with fertility problems, and from mouse samples, including those containing mutations that
perturb germline and reproductive functions. Together, the sequencing data will generate critical insights into
reproductive biology in mammals, with direct relevance to human reproductive health. As an additional
benefit of the RSC, the centralizing of sequencing and analysis will further facilitate synergism between all
members of this U54, and with other U54 centers of the SCCPIR.

For more information, contact Paula E. Cohen, Ph.D.