The Genomics Facility Basel (GFB) is a central research and service facility located in the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering (D-BSSE) of the ETH Zurich in Basel, supported and run jointly with the University of Basel. GFB was established at D-BSSE in 2008 to allow researchers of the life science community in Basel and at ETH Zurich direct access to next generation sequencing (NGS) and complementary genomics technologies. (Web Site)

The initial approach in 2008 of keeping track of processed lab samples and distributing the data to GFB customers was based on Excel and FTP or external hard drives, respectively. This lack of scalability was identified and the GFB became one of the early facilities using a data management system built on the openBIS platform. The flexibility of openBIS kept up with the changing needs (e.g. multiplexing), which arose in the field of NGS. The GFB facility grew in the last six years from a single Illumina sequencer to currently four sequencers that produce terabytes of data per run. Additionally, the long-term storage is also covered as archiving to tape and restore to disk both can be triggered within the openBIS GUI. This saves expensive storage capacities and still enables access to older data.

The experience and knowledge we gained in data management for NGS also got recognized in the pharma industry, where the system is used today to run large NGS labs.

A quality control report of an Illumina lane.