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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.

Upcoming International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) Events

2023 Annual Conference Boston - ILADS
Make plans to join us in Boston in 2023 for the ILADS Annual Scientific Conference. Our theme this year is "Vector-Borne Diseases: Understanding the Impact of Microbial Communities." The mission of ILADS is to educate healthcare professionals about the appropriate diagnosis and treatment of tick-borne diseases. The Annual Scientific Conference is intended for medical professionals including MDs, DOs, NDs, PAs, NPs, RNs, LCSWs, DCs, PhDs, psychologists, and other professionals assisting Lyme and related disease patients.

2024 Germany - ILADS
Make plans to join us in Germany next spring for the ILADS European Scientific Conference.

News and Announcements

CRISPR Cutout™ Game Wins Silver Medal

CRISPR Cutout™

The CRISPR Cutout™ game was awarded a silver medal at the 2023 International Serious Play Award competition in Toronto, Canada. CRISPR Cutout™ is the fourth in a series of mobile educational games developed by the Institute for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Disease. CRISPR Cutout™ introduces the molecular mechanisms of a cutting-edge genome editing technology called clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats, or CRISPR. Players create a gene-editing tool to use in a cell to cut out a sequence of HIV DNA. Learn more about CRISPR Cutout™.

Student News

Congratulations to PhD/MD student Benjamin Haslund-Gourley, who was awarded the Goldie Simon Preceptorship Award to complete a summer project examining the glycosylation of autoantibodies associated with Lupus entitled, "High-Throughput Method to Identify Lupus-Specific Autoantibody Glycosylation." Benjamin will present his findings this September.

Congratulations to MS in Molecular Medicine student and Fulbright Foreign Program awardee Keziah Adjei on recently having her P.E.O. Peace Scholarship renewed.

2023 SFAF Genomics Conference

Angelina Wang gave a plenary session talk on CGS trans-pan-domain assay at the SFAF Genomics Conference in Santa Fe, NM, June 8, 2023. Angelina is a receipient of the CREATE "Community Research Education And Tutoring Experience" award. Reciepients work with faculty, staff and graduate students within the Center for Genomic Sciences, the Center for Advanced Microbial Processing and the Center for Surgical Infections and Biofilms to develop and execute a research program. Angelina was mentored by Michiko Thwe, Felicity Tso and Bhaswati Sen, PhD.

2023 Golden Apple Award Winners Announced

The annual Golden Apple Awards recognize outstanding service, teaching and mentoring by Drexel University College of Medicine faculty and professional staff, who are nominated by each class of medical students for the honor. Students vote to determine the award winners. Read more.

Kayla Socarras, PhD M&I ’22 Receives T32 Award

Kayla Socarras, PhD microbiology & immunology ’22 and postdoctoral associate at the Translational Genomics Group at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT received a T32 award from the Mass General Brigham Training Program in Precision and Genomic Medicine.

Work In Early Lyme Detection Wins LymeX Diagnostic Prize

A team led by Mary Ann Comunale, EdD, MS, is a recipient of the Phase 1 LymeX Diagnostic Prize sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Steve & Alexandra Cohen Foundation. Read more.

Tower Health Research Day

Benjamin Haslund-Gourley won 1st place at the Tower Health Research Day for his talk titled: "Characterizing Aberrant N-Glycosylation During Acute Lyme Disease." His abstract was selected for 1 of 5 talks out of 97 entries. Ben is a third-year MD/PhD student in the lab of Dr. Comunale, Department of Microbiology and Immunology.

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