Global Lambda Integrated Facility

ALS high-throughput genome-wide analysis



The Netherlands: University Medical Center Utrecht
United States: David Geffen School of Medicine; Department of Human Genetics, University of California Los Angeles; Neuroscience and Genetics Research Center, University of California Los Angeles


On 21 June 2007, five lab-based scientific research projects in the Netherlands won the 'Enlighten Your Research' lightpath competition organized by SURFnet and NWO. Each winning researcher received a lightpath to the lab and EUR 20,000 to integrate the use of the lightpath into the research.

One of the lightpaths was awarded to University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU) to work with University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), on high-throughput genome-wide analyses in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

The analysis of ALS using microarray detection produces data files of up to 20 GB. Analysis of the data is complex and requires highly specialized expertise; moreover, new data is continuously added to the files, and advancing insight requires that the analysis be repeated regularly. The necessary expertise is available at the UCLA Department of Human Genetics, with whom UMCU has initiated collaboration. The researchers have been traveling to exchange knowledge and data in person. With the award of the lightpath, the distributed research team will create a virtual organization to share large data files and expertise.

This proposal was a joint effort between UMCU and UCLA researchers. The SURFnet lightpath is awarded for the duration of the research, or up to 4 years.