The Molecular Biology Core occupies 2,600 square feet in the Stabile Building at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Personnel include 11 full-time staff members, five of whom each have more than 15 years of molecular biology laboratory experience.

For the past 20 years, the core has sequenced an average of 100,000 to 150,000 samples a year using Sanger sequencing. In 2012, the Molecular Biology Core processed more than 7,000 next-generation sequencing samples. The core can sequence 12 eight-lane flow cells a week using its six Illumina HiSeq 2000 sequencers.

To date, thousands of samples have been analyzed using:

  • Whole-genome sequencing
  • Targeted sequencing (whole-exome and custom capture using SureSelect by Agilent)
  • Whole-transcriptome sequencing (mRNA-seq)
  • Mate pair sequencing
  • MicroRNA sequencing (miRNA-seq)
  • ChIP sequencing (ChIP-seq)


The Molecular Biology Core has capabilities for capillary fluorescent DNA sequencing, sequencing-by-synthesis (SBS) deep sequencing, single-molecule sequencing, and exome capture or custom capture for targeted sequencing. Also available are robotics for high-throughput next-generation sequencing library preparation.

Instrument Quantity
Applied Biosystems 3730xl capillary sequencer 2
Illumina HiSeq 2000 genetic analyzer 6
Illumina MiSeq genetic analyzer 2
Illumina cBot system (for cluster generation) 4
Pacific Biosciences RS single-molecule sequencer 1
Beckman Coulter Biomek 2000 Laboratory Automation Workstation 1
Eppendorf epMotion liquid handler 1
Agilent Bravo robotic workstation 1
Bio-Rad DNA Engine Tetrad thermal cycler (four-bay) 4
Agilent 2100 Bioanalyzer 1
Covaris E210 (for multisample DNA fragmentation) 1
Program Company
Sequence Navigator Applied Biosystems
Sequencher Gene Codes
Chromas Technelysium
Oligo National Biosciences
MacVector Oxford Molecular Group
FinchTV Geospiza
Mutation Surveyor SoftGenetics