Centre for Genomic Sciences
The Centre for Genomic Sciences (CGS) is a state-of-the-art facility with expertise in Next-Generation DNA Sequencing (NGS) technologies that underlie latest molecular methods for the diagnosis of diseases across different specialties of medicine and dentistry. CGS helps Peshawar and Pakistan embrace the next generation of medical care which is driven by genomic sciences and precision medicine.
NGS methods allow us to ‘read’ the DNA in any sample. This allows experts to identify any specific disease-related ‘errors’ or mutations, that can be shared with your doctor. In some diseases, such as cancers, this information can be critical in deciding what treatment a patient gets and how she/he may respond. In other diseases, such as congenital disorders, information about these mutations may offer important results to help couples better plan their families.
The Centre was established by legendary Dr Johar Ali, who hails from Peshawar and was part of the International Human Genomic Project – the first ever attempt by mankind to sequence the entire human genome. Today, CGS is the fastest-growing hub of genomic medicine in Pakistan with a mission to make genomic testing accessible to patients of all backgrounds.
What can we test for?
The NGS machine can test a whole set of genes in one run for each patient. These machines can also be used for sequencing all coding regions of genes (called whole exome), or even the entire DNA (called whole genome) for any patient. What exactly needs to be sequenced, is decided by the patient’s doctor.
Currently, the CGS can undertake the following tests:
- Breast Cancer Genes Including BRCA1 and BRCA2
- Solid Tumors Genes Including P53 Gene
- Blood Cancer Genes Including JAK2-FLT3-PML
- Thalassemia Genes for Mother and Child
Genomic tests under development at our R&D outfits include:
- Cardiac Genes Panel
- Inherited Disorder Panel
- HLA Panel
Research and development activities are underway to add other disease to our list as well.
Can researchers use our service?
Absolutely! We love to work with researchers and students on their projects and offer them local DNA sequencing services at a much lower cost than vendors abroad. We also make sure we tailor our service as much as possible for their specific needs to create the best value.
Why is CGS the best place for Genomics?
In 2015, RMI was one of the first healthcare providers to offer next generation DNA sequencing services in Pakistan. It remains one of the few places in the country with an operational facility ready to serve patients.
Access to diverse patients, at scale: Our R&D outfit benefits from our location in the densest healthcare cluster in Pakistan with patients coming in from around region including Afghanistan and Central Asia. This in-flow of some of the largest and most diverse numbers of patients in the country is a key unfair advantage.
Top talent under one roof: CGS provides a platform to an inter-disciplinary team of leading experts required for genomic testing. We are home to a well-integrated critical mass of clinicians, medical geneticists, molecular biologists bioinformaticians and data scientists. All under one roof.
Deep expertise in and around NGS: Our facility has established deep expertise in not only genomics using next-generation DNA sequencing and a wide range of analysis pipelines, but also multi-omics and systems biology along with machine learning and deep learning.
In 2018, RMI was co-awarded the Precision Medicine Lab (PML) project, the country's first precision medicine pilot. PML is funded by the Federal Government and is an affiliate of the National Centre for Big Data and Cloud Computing. The Lab has brought together an interdisciplinary team of experts, including doctors, data scientists, biotechnologists, and engineers, to build a critical mass of researchers and experts in the area of precision medicine.
CGS and PML are proudly co-located at the Department of Pathology, Rehman Medical Institute, Peshawar.