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Core Laboratory

The Harold E. Ballard Foundation Cancer Genetics Laboratory

The Harold E. Ballard Cancer Genetics Laboratory is a state-of-the-art facility for the centralized storage of primary tumour samples, as well as paired normal tissue from childhood cancer patients and affected or unaffected family members. It is designed to be the focal point for a national tumour bank for paediatric cancers and will establish an infrastructure to conduct innovative research in the predisposing or acquired (somatic) molecular alterations associated with childhood cancer. In addition to the physical storage facilities which are currently being expanded, the laboratory has developed technology that utilizes Laser Capture Microdissection, Real-Time PCR, Fluorescence Microscopy and Multi-Colour FISH analysis, and cDNA Microarray analysis, as well as tissue culture capabilities. Through this core facility, comprehensive tissue banking, facilitated isolation of biologically-relevant material, and an integrated data bank to collate clinical data with histopathologic and molecular information will be promoted.

Equipment for the laboratory is currently situated among several molecular diagnostic, molecular pathology, and basic laboratories in the Research Institute. It will be consolidated into a geographic core laboratory upon completion of renovations of space adjacent to the molecular diagnostics and molecular pathology laboratories in the consolidated Cancer Research Program laboratories.

Funds for the Laboratory have been generously donated by the Harold E. Ballard Foundation in partnership through a competitive peer-reviewed grant from the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Ontario Innovative Trust.