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 the latest molecular methods for the diagnosis of disease 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 or 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 the 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.
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 exomes), 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 portfolio can undertake the following tests:
- BRCA1 and BRCA2 for breast cancer patients
- P53 gene for cancer patients with solid tumors
- The JAK2-FLT3-PML for blood cancer patients
- Inherited Diseases in Neonates panel for paediatrics
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 Genomics at RMI so special?
In 2015, RMI was one of the first healthcare providers which established and offered next-generation DNA sequencing services in Pakistan. It remains to be one of the few places in the country with an operational facility that is ready to serve patients.
In 2018, this was one of the reasons why RMI was awarded the Precision Medicine Lab (PML) project which is 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 inter-disciplinary team of experts including doctors, data scientists, biotechnologist 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.