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CATGO - Cambridge Translational Genomics


The Laboratory

The CAmbridge Translational GenOmics (CATGO) laboratory is one of the service laboratories of the Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre  which primarily supports NIHR BioResource projects. The primary responsibilities of CATGO are:

  • Intake, processing and archiving of biological samples (blood, saliva, etc.) and the preparation of DNA for sequencing of patients and healthy volunteers who are enrolled into the NIHR BioResource for Rare Diseases.
  • Prepare pull-down libraries for exome sequencing.
  • Transfer of sequencing libraries to "on campus" or external provider of sequencing services.
  • Liaise with the NIHR BioResource Office for Rare Diseases in Cambridge for the processing of samples of enrolled Rare Disease cases through the exome sequencing pipeline in a timely manner.
  • Liaise with the chief analyst of each of the NIHR BioResource funded sequencing projects on the transfer of data on completed batches of samples.

Who and where are we? The CATGO team consists of 10 staff and the laboratories are located at Level 4, Laboratory Block, Addenbrooke's Hospital and in the Department of Haematology on the ground floor of the NHS Blood and Transplant Centre on the Addenbrooke’s Biomedical campus in Cambridge.

Team contact details:

  • For general enquiries email or phone +44 (0) 1223 58 8074
  • For sample logistics email Jenny Jolley at
  • For exome-sequencing email Dr Ilenia Simeoni at

External sequence provider: The University of Cambridge is in the process of tendering for external sequencing services to support large scale exome, genome and possibly other sequencing projects, which need to be delivered for NIHR BioResource projects. The expected completion of the tender process for 2013-2016 is July of this year. CATGO will work closely with these providers on approved projects.

Bioinformatics, computational biology and statistical genomics: CATGO does NOT provide analytical capacity for NIHR BioResource and other sequencing projects. Each of the approved NIHR BioResource exome sequencing projects has its own chief analyst. The chief analysts work closely with the Clinical Bioinformatics team at the Department of Haematology led by Dr Augusto Rendon. Dr Rendon and his team work closely with the MRC Biostatistics Unit which is increasingly becoming engaged in human genomics research.

Other research sequencing: For the provision of sequencing services for other projects and researchers on the Addenbrookes Biomedical campus, discussions have been had with the Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Cambridge Institute. The plan is to evolve towards a single research sequencing hub on campus at the CRUK Cambridge Institute Genomics core facility. The facility already provides sequencing services to third parties such as the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, the Wellcome Trust/CRUK Gurdon Institute and others. The current Illumina MiSeq and HiSeq capacity of the BRC will be transferred to the Genomics core facility and be expanded. Services on the Illumina GAII and Life Technologies Ion Torrent platforms will be discontinued.