Research Groups

Section of Genetics - Genetic Cancer Susceptibility Group


The main objective of the Genetic Cancer Susceptibility Group′s (GCS′s) research interests is to investigate the influence of germline genetic factors on cancer etiology: to identify the genes involved, the mechanisms by which susceptibility alleles exert their effect, and how they interact with environmental factors. GCS uses a variety of study designs, including both familial and case-control studies, and has a major focus on the incorporation of data derived from advanced genomic and bioinformatics techniques into the genetic analysis.

The other major objective of GCS is the Group′s responsibilities regarding genomics at the Agency. Here, the focus is on the adaptation of genomic techniques to suit IARC′s particular needs and mission, while ensuring their optimal application and cost-effectiveness. These techniques are applied in GCS′s research and, through the Genetic Services Platform (GSP), also in scientific activities across IARC. The GSP makes these genomic techniques accessible to IARC scientific groups and provides support through the complete project life-cycle, including planning, execution, quality control, and subsequent bioinformatics analysis. In the context of the laboratory, GCS strives to develop semi-automated workflows for tailored, flexible, and cost-effective genomic analysis of IARC′s large and heterogeneous sample collections. In addition, GCS provides bioinformatics capacity, ensuring that the necessary computing resources and analytical protocols are available for genomic analysis. GCS incorporates quality control measures throughout these processes to ensure the data quality expected of IARC. Working closely with various IARC committees (Laboratory Steering Committee [LSC] and Bioinformatics Steering Committee [BISC]) and scientific groups, GCS also coordinates the development of the Agency′s genomic and bioinformatics capacity.

A detailed list of the Genetic Services Platform (GSP) capabilities and publications can be found at the GSP website.

Relevant GCS-specific outputs include the development of (i) the Electronic Laboratory Notebook, now used routinely across the Agency (Voegele et al., Bioinformatics 2012), and (ii) sample management systems across the Agency (Voegele et al., Bioinformatics 2010).