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The MAD: or Dutch Genomics Service & Support Provider (previously known as MicroArray Department; The MAD is the genomics and transcriptomics expertise center of the University of Amsterdam. We perform next-generation sequencing technology research as well as operate as worldwide transcriptomics service provider and support partner for academic and industrial research & development projects. For this we have a multidisciplinary team of about 10 experts in the fields of: Biology, Bioinformatics, Applied Statistics, Informatics, and e-Science.

Our next-generation sequencing technology platform:

  • Illumina NextSeq 550 next-generation sequencing system (120 Gb per run)

The MAD was founded in 1999 with funding from the Dutch government plus major investments from several industrial food and pharma partners. The aim was to establish a proficient transcriptomics facility for life-science researchers from both within and outside the UvA. The projected tasks of the facility would encompass the execution of transcriptomics experiments as well as the analysis of the results. The laboratory was officially opened for external services at April 5, 2001. The tasks of the expertise center encompassed the design, production and use of (custom-made) microarrays, as well as analysis of the experimental results. Recently, next-generation sequencing services are added. Nowadays, the MAD consists of a "Wet-Lab" for molecular-biology analyses service and support, and a "Dry-Lab" for bioinformatics service and support.

In 2003 the Integrative Bioinformatics Unit emerged (IBU) from the MAD to perform the bioinformatics research. With our advanced bioinformatics expertise, tools and infrastructure to pre-process and analyze genomics data, the MAD is well equipped to meet the bioinformatics and e-science challenges of contemporary life-science research. Over the years, an increasing effort has been put in the development and optimization of the gene-expression analysis (including sample preparation) as well as innovative ways to use genomics technologies. This resulted in 2012 in the research re-focused to "RNA Biology & Applied Bioinformatics (RB&AB)"and the founding of a research group with that name.

Over the years, both the MAD and the associated RB&AB research group have expanded and work at the frontiers of genome-wide molecular-biology technology, research, and data analysis. The combined services of a genomics expertise center including bioinformatics support proved to be a successful concept. The close collaboration of the MAD Dry- & Wet-labs, the RB&AB research unit and biologists creates a stimulating environment that is beneficial for all clients and partners, today and in the future.


Why bother to go to the effort of executing your own next-generation sequencing experiments when you can get your genomics data easily for an affordable price? The MAD offers you their long-standing expertise in NGS technology and related bioinformatics plus the necessary top quality NGS equipment to guide you through the complex world of genomics & transcriptomics.

We offer you the following genomics technology and bioinformatics services:

  • Extensive consultancy for genomics-experimentation design
  • RNA and DNA isolation from experiment samples
  • Expert NGS expertise & platform: Illumina NextSeq 550 system
  • We specialize in small-RNAseq experiments
  • Basic bioinformatics data analysis
  • Advanced bioinformatics data analysis

We will be happy to answer any question you may have concerning our services and your plans for genomics experiments. For assistance, support and advice, please contact us at:

Collaborating projects

The MAD acts not only as a service provider, but also as an expert genomics technology and/or bioinformatics partner in scientific projects. These projects range from toxicogenomics ("Genomic analysis and in vivo imaging of stress in aging-related disease" funded by IOP, STW), food safety (together with Unilever) & mechanistic studies (e.g. Biofilm with ACTA), biomarkers (with RIVM and EMC), to e-infrastructure (e.g. Virtual Lab for Plant Breeding with TTI-GG, WUR and NLeSC). The MAD is always open to collaboration or participation in projects concerning genomics technology or bioinformatics analysis.

We are especially interested in orphan genomics projects, i.e. small projects with a limited focus that are struggling to attract attention from academic researchers or companies. Examples are: Infectious diseases in several ZOO species. Testimony of our expert collaboration skills and result can be found in the numerous collaborative scientific articles we have published over the years.

If you are interested, please contact Selina van Leeuwen or Dr Timo Breit

Person responsible for this topic:

Selina van Leeuwen
Tel. +31 (0)20 525 7765 

For more detailed information please look at our website: