About Us

The UHN Microarray Centre was established in early 1998. At that time, the group consisted of two researchers - one working to prepare the cDNAs to be arrayed, and the other working to program a custom built robotic arraying system. At that time, the Microarray Centre was housed at the Ontario Cancer Institute, the research centre for the Princess Margaret Hospital. Over the course of approximately one year, the Microarray Centre worked with a local engineering company, Engineering Services Inc. (ESI) to develop the arrayer robot and to turn it into a high precision, highly flexible device capable of making very dense arrays. The arrayer is now sold commercially as the BioRad VersArray ChipWriter Pro.

The Microarray Centre was established as part of a consortium of research institutions including the Ontario Cancer Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, the Hospital for Sick Children and the University of Toronto. We also had a few commercial partnerships and collaborations, including Allelix Biopharmaceuticals (now NPS Allelix), GeneFocus and Engineering Services Inc. During the development of the robotic systems, the Microarray Centre grew to increase our capacity to prepare clones for arraying. We continued to refine our protocols which were adapted from those originally published by Patrick Brown's group at Stanford.

In November of 1999, the UHN Microarray Centre expanded into new facilities to accommodate further expansion. Our team now stands at 32 people including research scientists, technical staff, engineers, bioinformaticians, management and administrative support. Currently the Microarray Centre houses 6 highly accurate arrayers, capable of producing a total of 2500 arrays with up to 36,000 features per week. Currently we produce arrays containing yeast, mouse and human genes and ESTs, in addition to our newly released CpG Island Microarrays. We provide arrays, training and support to over 300 labs in 28 different countries on 6 continents. Our local customers also have access to two microarray scanners which are available free of charge to academics.

The UHN Microarray Centre is committed to providing our customers with quality microarrays, and support. We are also committed to developing new technologies and refining the existing technologies, such that our customers always have access to leading edge tools.