Biomedical Sciences Research Institute

Genomics Unit

Academic Coordinator: Dr Paul Thompson
Tel: +44 (0)28 7012 3246


The Genomics Core Facility Unit contains a range of equipment which enables research on gene regulation and gene expression patterns and the development of novel techniques to therapeutically alter the expression of affected genes.

Applied Biosystems Sciex 3130 XL DNA Sequencer:

For reference based analysis such as mutation detection and analysis, SNP discovery and validation, pathogen sub-typing, allele identification and sequence confirmation.

DNA Synthesizer and HPLC nucleic acid purification: DNA replication and biosynthesis; in vivo and in vitro DNA amplification; oligonucleotide synthesis – chemical synthesis of nucleic acids; gene synthesis, etc.

Qiagen Pyrosequencer:

Sequence-based detection technology that enables quantification; this technology is a highly adaptable investigative tool for a broad range of disciplines and offers applications in DNA methylation analysis, genetic testing and microbial genotyping (e.g., characterization of complex DNA modifications underlying gene expression patterns; quantitative CpG methylation, SNPs, insertion/deletions, STRs and variable gene copy number.

Two-Hybrid systems: (Yeast & mammalian)

for the identification of interaction partners; elucidation of protein-protein and protein-DNA interactions; determination of protein function and sequences crucial for interaction; drug and poison discovery, etc.

NanoDrop Spectrophotometer:

For Nucleic Acid and Protein Quantitation (measures DNA, RNA and protein concentrations as well as sample purity; offers direct, easy measurements with large concentration range and full spectral output).

Lab-on a Chip: (RNA/DNA BioAnalyser).

Range of Quantitative Real-time PCR instrumentation:

For the amplification, detection, and quantification of DNA and DNA sequences; rapid detection of nucleic acids; quantitative measurements of gene transcription, gene expression and cell differentiation - SNP genotyping, copy number analysis, pathogen detection, drug target validation and for measuring RNA interference; reverse transcription to quantify messenger RNA (mRNA) and microRNA (miRNA) in cells or tissues.

Range of Microarray scanners:

with high resolution scanning capability and extraction software to cope with high density microarrays.


The Unit has extensive expertise relating to transcriptional regulation, key proteomic- and nucleic acid-based techniques (SNP, methylation, microarray, gene knockout, QToF MS based de novo protein sequencing, MALDI, Yeast-2-hybrid, 2-D PAGE); structural biology (solution NMR spectroscopy); data integration and pathway modelling (Systems Biology).

The Unit has developed strong relationships with the Metabolomics/Proteomics Unit and the Bioinformatics/Computational Biology Unit as many complex biological and biomedical questions demand an integration of these approaches.

The group is involved in all major aspects of transcriptional regulation ranging from:

- the investigation of basic mechanisms of gene regulation
- the investigation of the structural basis for mechanisms of transcriptional control and regulation
- the design of nucleic acid based composites to therapeutically modulate aberrant gene expression patterns
- the analysis of the interplay of disease and a major class of transcriptional regulators (the superfamily of nuclear hormone receptors with a specific focus on the vitamin D receptor)
- the analysis of the correlation between genetic variability (SNPs), gene expression, promoter methylation status and specific diseases.


the University of Ulster’s CryptoScan service provides rapid genotyping and DNA sequence analysis of Cryptosporidium oocysts from a wide variety of water and clinical samples. CryptoScan provides vital information for routine monitoring of drinking water quality – removes questionable results - and enables source tracking of oocysts during outbreak analysis. CryptoScan is currently service provider of Cryptosporidium genotyping to Northern Ireland Water. If you are interested in this water testing service please contact: Dr Colm Lowery (