Victorian Centre for Functional Genomics

Functional genomics determines how genes and their products contribute to different biological processes. The Victorian Centre for Functional Genomics helps biomedical researchers solve specific biological questions.

The Victorian Centre for Functional Genomics (VCFG) at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre is a national platform that enables biomedical researchers to perform novel discovery-based high throughput screens using multiple platforms.

The VCFG facilitates compound, CRISPR and RNAi screening at any scale in both 2D and 3D formats, using liquid handling instruments, automated high-content imaging microscopes, live imaging systems and large reagent libraries.

The VCFG team has expertise in the following capabilities:

  • Data analytics and machine learning
  • Spheroid and organoid phenotyping and screening
  • Compound screening
  • CRISPR pooled and arrayed screening
  • High-content live and fixed imaging
  • RNAi screening

For more details on our capabilities, resources and instrumentation, please visit our website: Visit the Centre

Projects that the VCFG has been involved in with UoM researchers include:

  • In collaboration with Professor Frederic Hollandeʼs group, we have developed robotic pipelines to embed patient-derived cancers in 3D organoids in a 384-well plate format. This has enabled researchers to measure growth kinetics using customised imaging;  perform drug screens to determine cell viability and morphological changes and machine learning strategies to compare patient-to-patient responses. In addition, we have developed a novel high throughput method to edit patient-derived organoids using CRISPR allowing new insights into therapeutic strategies to treat cancer.
  • In collaboration with Professor Alice Pébay, as part of a project funded by the Medical Research Future Fund, we are investigating how to delay the progression of age-related macular degeneration. We are performing high throughput compound screens on differentiated stem cell lines coupled with high content microscopy and image analysis to triage changes in mitochondrial function.
  • We have a long-term collaboration with Professor Malcolm McConville’s laboratory, ranging from genome-wide RNAi screening to drug screening, coupling with metabolic readouts. We are currently helping the lab quantify the virulence of Leishmania using a high-content imaging strategy and identity metabolic inhibitors in disease treatment.

User information

The VCFG provides a collaborative and innovative partnership. Our most common operations model is ‘researcher driven, staff assisted’ model where you embed in our lab and be trained on the appropriate instruments to perform your screen under the guidance of our team. We also provide ‘fee for service’ projects when we have team capacity, at the whole project level or a hybrid version that works for you. All data generated remains the intellectual property of the researcher. Importantly, each project is customised to your specific biological question and we will help drive your project to the best screen outcome possible. The VCFG is housed at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne.

Other platforms

The Victorian Centre for Functional Genomics can be used in conjunction with:

Contact us

Associate Professor Kaylene Simpson
+61 3 8559 7509

Access to iLab booking system

Once you have discussed your project with Kaylene, you will be given access to the centre’s iLab booking system. You can use this system to book instrument time and training, purchase reagents and consumables, and access pricing.

More information on the Victorian Centre for Functional Genomics can be found on the Research Gateway, which is available to all University of Melbourne academic and honorary staff, graduate researchers and professional staff. Please note, to access the Research Gateway, you will need to login with your University of Melbourne username and password.

Banner image: lab equipment and machinery in a lab