The Molecular Biology Core Facilities at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute will be discontinuing Sanger DNA sequencing on November 1, 2016.

26 years ago, in 1990, MBCF was the first in New England to purchase the first ABI DNA sequencers that used dye terminator chemistry to create the familiar four color chromatogram. With the advent of Next Generation Sequencing our Sanger sequencing service has now become so small we need to reallocate the resources for NGS and high throughput genomics.

So on November 1, 2016, we will begin phasing out Sanger sequencing. Genewiz and other local core facilities are very good substitutes for our service.

All current and past users of MBCF Sanger sequencing

We have all your data backed up from 1990 to 2016. If you need your primers or data just email us and we will dig through the archives.

Just email us at morrison@mail.dfci.harvard.edu or zherbert@mail.dfci.harvard.edu

Commonly Asked Questions

  • How do I collect my data?

    The data distribution method depends on the specific service, whether the transfer is internal or external, and the total size of the data.

    • Internal DFCI NGS data: The most fast and efficient means of data transfer is to setup a “share” folder with the help of DFCI Research Computing to allow MBCF to directly post data to your lab server immediately after sequencing and analysis are complete.
    • External NGS data: We will provide a user and name and password to download data via a web browser OR we can setup post data on a secure ftp site (additional charges may apply).
    • Microarray Data:
    • Nanostring Data: Raw data are relatively small so we typically distribute via email
    • Sanger Sequencing: Data are archived and accessible through dnaLIMS


  • How should I acknowledge the core?
    1. In the methods section: “(service) was performed by the Molecular Biology Core Facilities at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.” (Please contact us if you need help writing methods for work performed by MBCF)
    2. If you were especially thrilled with work perform by the MBCF or you would like to acknowledge the efforts of a specific member of the core, add a line in the acknowledgements section. “We thank ______ from the Molecular Biology Core Facilities at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute for ____”
    3. If a core staff member has made a substantial contribution to the conception, design, analysis and/or interpretation of the data, authorship may be appropriate.
  • Where is the MBCF located?

    On the 4th floor of the DFCI Fenway campus (near the ballpark) at 21-27 Burlington Ave. Click here for directions and a map.

  • What is the turnaround time?
    • Affymetrix Microarray: 4-6 weeks
    • Nanostring: 2 weeks
    • NGS library prep + sequencing: 3 weeks
    • Illumina MiSeq: 1 week
    • Illumina NextSeq: 2-3 weeks

    *** DFCI investigators get priority, turnaround times may be longer for external investigators

  • How do I request services?

    Please review the Service Request Guide for important details.

    1. Register an iLab account
    2. Place electronic iLab Request
    3. Drop off (clearly labeled) samples
    4. Await notification that results are available
  • Where can I drop off my samples?

    There are 3 drop off locations:

    1. The “Fish Room” located near the 3rd floor elevator lobby of the Smith building.

    DNA: 4C refridgerator on the left

    RNA: -80C freezer on the right. Please take an empty cooler from the lower half of the freezer, deposit your samples, and return the cooler + samples to the top half of the freezer to await pickup.

    2. The 11th floor of the CLS building (Outside the Speigelman Lab). This is for DNA ONLY

    3. Directly to the Molecular Biology Core Facilities on the 4th floor of the DFCI Fenway campus at 21-27 Burlington Ave. Click here for directions and a map.

    4. FedEx

Don’t see your question? Send us an email.