Important Notes: 

  • For best library construction results please submit the recommended amount of starting material or more
  • The amounts in the "starting material recommendation document" work well for human or mouse derived nucleic acids. Please enquire if you are working with other species.
  • The amounts listed in the starting material recommendation document is the minimum amount of starting material which will result in adequate sequencing results. Please Contact us if your material is limiting
  • Please note the submission requirements for plates:
    • Samples to be submitted in Axygen 96 FS-C plates, or equivalent. If these are not available in your lab, contact us as we may be able to supply one
    • Wells E12, F12, G12,  H12 to be left empty
    • Submit samples frozen
    • Samples must be normalized for concentration across the plate
  • Submission of libraries: please consult the constructed library requirements for technical information about GSC-compatible libraries, including primer, adapter and index sequences. Not all commercially available kits are compatible with the GSC's pipeline.  Please confirm your library protocol prior to submission.  Examples of factors to consider:
    • Index reads longer than 8b is not supported on the HiSeqX.
    • The NextSeq 500 has a minor restriction on index sequences that can be used when barcoding libraries.
  • The GSC cannot guarantee that constructed libraries will be accepted for sequencing.  Every effort is made to confirm compatibility prior to submission, however successful sequencing cannot be guaranteed. 

What kinds of samples do you accept?

We accept a variety of samples including nucleic acids, blood, fresh or frozen tissues, formalin-fixed/paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues, saliva and buccal (cheek) swabs. We also accept fully constructed libraries.

When and how do I get a sample submission form?

Instructions for sample submission are e-mailed to the collaborator once a signed copy of the SOW has been received by the GSC. For many sample types, an online submission system is available. For others, excel forms will be sent. Please contact us with your project details to get a sample submission form. 

What type of containers can I use to submit my samples?

  • < 24 DNA/RNA samples, submit in 1.5 mL Eppendorf tubes (screw top tubes are not accepted).
  • ≥ 24 DNA/RNA samples, submit in an Axygen 96-FS-C plate (can be provided by GSC upon request).
  • Tissue/cells are accepted only in tube format, for example, Matrix tubes for FFPE tissue scrolls/curls or cores.

How should I arrange my samples in a 96 well plate?

It is required that samples are sorted by columns in a 96 well plate (eg. A1 to H1, B2 to H2). 

Wells E12, F12, G12 and H12 must be left empty for internal controls

Why is a plate limited to 92 samples when there are 96 wells in a plate?

Wells E12, F12, G12 and H12 are to be left empty as they are used for internal controls.

Why do I have to provide a tube label when I am providing a sample ID already?

Every sample submitted to the GSC goes through an initial quality check. The label on the physical tube is checked against the tube label provided in the sample submission form and entered into our LIMS.

What if I don’t have the specified plate available?

Pre-barcoded Axygen 96-FS-C plate(s) can be provided to the collaborator once the SOW is signed.

If you require a plate, please contact us

Shipping contact information and courier account number are provided by the collaborator to ship a plate.

Plate(s) can also be picked-up at the GSC in person.

When and where can I submit my samples?

The sample submission form must be reviewed and approved by GSC personnel prior to submitting samples to the GSC.

Regular hours for sample drop-off and plate pick-up:
Monday – Friday Times: 9:30-11:30am and 1:30-3:30pm

Suite 100-570 West 7th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V5Z 4S6

To enter the building, dial #100 on the intercom and the receptionist will let you in. The reception is on the ground floor (past the elevators and on the left). Go through to reception and ask the receptionist to call or page anyone from the Biospecimen Core group. We’ll come down to reception to meet you.

How do I submit samples via a courier?

Once the sample submission form is approved, samples must be shipped on dry ice and should be addressed to:

Dr. Andrew Mungall  - Biospecimen Core,
Room 508
Genome Sciences Centre BC Cancer
Suite 100 - 570 West 7th Avenue
Vancouver, BC
V5Z 4S6 Canada


Tel: 604-707-5900 ext 3251

When samples have been shipped, we ask that you please email to notify us of your shipment and the associated tracking number, so we can monitor the progress during transit.

Please ensure that there is sufficient dry ice for a couple of days. We recommend shipping Monday to Wednesday, as we cannot accept packages on weekends.

Why is spike-in added to genomic DNA samples? Will this affect my sequencing results?

The GSC has extended our QC processes, to enhance our sample identity tracking. We add a small amount of a plasmid (1 ng/µg) to each tissue or genomic DNA sample upon receipt by the GSC. This plasmid contains a unique insert and allows us to track sample identity and cross contamination throughout the pipeline. The resulting sequence data will contain reads resulting from both the vector (PCR4-Topo) and the insert at a level of 1,000-100,000 reads per lane (spike in reads will not be aligned). Any returned material would also contain this plasmid. This has been extensively tested in both our clinical and research pipelines.

Please advise GSC if you do not wish this tracking spike-in to be added to your sample.

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