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The Center for Genomic Sciences is a comprehensive and flexible research facility designed to investigate a broad range of medically and surgically relevant problems using cutting-edge molecular genetics, genomics and bioinformatics techniques. The Center for Genomic Sciences, located at 245 N. 15th Street in Philadelphia, is a self-contained research unit of the College of Medicine's Institute for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Disease.

The Center for Genomic Sciences is broadly focused on understanding the function and evolution of genomes. We use comparative and functional approaches, taking advantage of resources available through the Genomics Core Facility and Center for Advanced Microbial Processing. We are particularly focused on microbial genomes (both prokaryotic and eukaryotic), from the smallest cellular genomes, like Borrelia burgdorferi (the causative agent of Lyme disease) with a single ~1 megabase chromosome, to some of the largest known, like the dinoflagellate Procentrum lima whose genome exceeds 100 gigabases (much larger than the 3 gigabase human genome).

One of our major model systems is the human chronic pathogen Haemophilus influenzae, for which we are obtaining complete sequences of ~1000 clinical strains isolated from both healthy and diseased patients from a variety of body sites and using novel bioinformatics approaches to understanding its population-level genomics. Similar comparative projects are being carried out within other species, including Gardnerella vaginalis, Lactobacillus crispatus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Moraxella cattarhalis, Burkholderia cenocenocepacia and Acinetobacter baumanii. The goal of this research is to understand the evolution of pathogenesis, particularly in the context of chronic infection, and to isolate virulence determinants by applying phylogenomics and statistical genetics approaches.

Sequencing, Gene Expression and Genotyping Services


The Center for Genomic Sciences provides a collaborative interdisciplinary environment for scientists, engineers and clinicians performing basic, translational, industrial and clinical research programs covering a wide range of programs in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic genomics, including host-pathogen interactions. Center for Genomic Sciences technologies include multiple cutting platforms for whole genome sequencing, genotyping and expression analyses. In addition to standard Illumina sequencing we also have the Pacific Biosciences third generation DNA sequencing technology. Similarly for expression analyses in addition to RNA seq we have other types of nucleic acid counting platforms, including both the nanoString technology and the Bio-Rad droplet digital PCR system.

Bioinformatics Services


Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary science that seamlessly integrates computational methodologies into molecular biology, biological databases and genotypes. It focuses on the molecular biology and physics of the cell and emphasizes the use of advanced mathematics and computation. CGS is not only a consumer of bioinformatic analysis programs, but a major developer as well, particularly in the realm of comparative bacterial genomics where we have played a leadership role for a decade.

News and Announcements

Luisa Hiller, PhD, presenting 'Deciphering the Pneumococcal Language'

"Deciphering the Pneumococcal Language"

On Wednesday, October 18, Garth Ehrlich, PhD, hosted Luisa Hiller, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Biological Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University.

Dr. Hiller presented her research, entitled "Deciphering the Pneumococcal Language." Her lab is interested in understanding the role of bacteria in both health and disease, particularly the commensal pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae.

Courtney Fesko and Kirsten Larson, PhD

CAMP Student Courtney Fesko Wins Discovery Day Prize

Courtney Fesko, a CAMP student in the Biochemistry master's degree program, received second place in the "Outstanding Junior Graduate Student Poster" category at Discovery Day 2017.

Fesko's poster was titled "Metabolite production of a probiotic E. coli strain." Her advisor is Joris Beld, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology.

Discovery Day, the College of Medicine's annual research day, was held on Thursday, October 12, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Dr. Ehrlich Honored at Graduate School Awards

Each year, faculty members of the Graduate School for Biomedical Science and Professional Studies are recognized for their outstanding research accomplishments and contributions to graduate education. Garth Ehrlich, PhD, received the Established Investigator Award during this year’s ceremony, held on May 11 at The Logan.

Graduate School Faculty Award winners including Garth Ehrlich, PhD
Recipients of the 2017 Graduate School Faculty Awards, including Garth Ehrlich, PhD (second from right)

Educational mobile app about HIV replication developed by the Institute for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Disease will released in Apple and Google Play stores on June 1

JUNE 1, 2017

CD4 HunterTM, the first educational mobile game app developed by the Institute for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Disease is available. FREE download at Apple and Google Play App Stores. Watch the CD4 Hunter trailer.

CD4 HunterTM combines fast-paced game play with science learning to showcase the first step of the complex and dynamic replication cycle of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1): binding and attachment. The app will be available for free download on Apple and Google Play app stores on June 1 and will be presented at Microbe 2017, the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) held in New Orleans, June 1-5, 2017. CD4 Hunter was developed “in house” by the Center for Business and Program Development of the Institute for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Disease (IMMID), at Drexel University College of Medicine. Learn more.

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