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J Biomol Tech. 2010 September; 21(3 Suppl): S8–S9.
PMCID: PMC2918195

Keeping Your DNA Sequencing, Genotyping, and Microarray Laboratory Competitive in a New Era of Genomics



Laboratory directors are facing enormous challenges with respect to keeping their laboratories competitive and retaining customers in the face of shrinking budgets and rapidly changing technology. A well-designed Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) can help meet these challenges and manage costs as the scale and complexity of data collection and related services increase. LIMS can also offer competitive advantages through increased automation and improved customer experiences.Implementing a LIMS strategy that will reduce data collection costs while improving competitiveness is a daunting proposition. LIMS are computerized data and information tracking systems that are highly variable with respect to their purpose, customization capabilities, and overall acquisition (initial purchase) and ownership (maintenance) costs. A simple LIMS can be built from a small number of spread sheets and track a few specific processes. Sophisticated LIMS rely on databases to manage multiple laboratory processes, capture and analyze different kinds of data, and provide decision support capabilities.In this presentation, I will share 20 years of academic and industrial LIMS experiences and perspectives that have been informed through 100’s of interactions with core, research, and manufacturing laboratories engaged in DNA sequencing, genotyping, and microarrays. We’ll explore the issues that need to be addressed with respect to either building a LIMS, or acquiring a LIMS product. A new model that allows laboratories to offer competitive services, utilizing cost-effective laboratory automation strategies and new technologies like next generation sequencing, will be presented. We’ll also compare different IT infrastructures and discuss their advantages and how investments can be made to protect against unexpected costs as new instruments, like the HiSeq 2000™ or SOLiD 4™, third generation sequencing, or other genetic analysis platforms are introduced.

Articles from Journal of Biomolecular Techniques : JBT are provided here courtesy of The Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities