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Molecular genetics: DNA/RNA extraction

DNA/RNA Extraction Offering high- and low-throughput nucleic acid extraction services to Garvan researchers and external clients

Garvan Molecular Genetics provides a nucleic acid extraction service in a NATA ISO 17025 and ISO 15189 quality-controlled environment. The DNA or RNA extraction is performed with spin columns and therefore has the highest possible quality available. Our services are available to those in the Research Precinct, as well as external clients. 

Our average extraction performance is shown in the table below: 

Concentration (depending on primary sample material) 

510 ug 

Ratio 260/280 


Ratio 260/230 


Elution volume  

30–200 ul

RIN value for RNA samples 


We accept the following primary sample materials. 

RNA samples

  • RNA from blood via PAXgene tubes (RNA can be extracted from EDTA blood tubes but for gene expression comparison, we highly recommend the use of PAXgene tubes) 

  • RNA from soft tissue (no homogenisation needed; samples will be frozen in liquid nitrogen and pulverised before lysis) 

  • RNA from hard tissue (homogenisation via tissue disruptor and lysis beads) 

  • RNA from cell culture or sorted cells (min 104 to max 107

  • microRNA and mitochondrial RNA upon request, isolated with specialised kits 

  • RNA from FFPE samples 

  • RNA from PAXgene tubes 

  • Free-floating RNA from serum or urine with a specialised kit 


DNA samples

  • DNA from blood, buffy coat, semen 

  • DNA from soft or hard tissue  

  • DNA from cell culture or sorted cells (min 104 to max 107

  • DNA from saliva via ORAcollect swabs  

  • Free-floating DNA from serum or urine with a specialised kit 

  • DNA from mouse faeces with a specialised kit 

  • DNA from FFPE samples 

  • DNA from faecal samples 

There are separate modules for extraction of samples in single tubes and submission of samples in 96 well plates.

For all samples that require additional preparative steps before extraction (e.g. FFPE, serum, urine, PAXgene tubes or difficult tissue samples that require homogenisation), clients can perform the preparative steps themselves to reduce the cost of extraction. 

Workflow for Qiagen spin column extraction

The actual process of DNA extraction follows the usual workflow of column-based DNA clean-ups: binding DNA to silica membranes in high salt conditions, washing with ethanol-based wash-buffers and elution in low salt conditions. 

The DNA is extracted in a buffer which contains some Tris, no EDTA and is adjusted to a pH of eight. Clients can choose an elution volume between 30 ul and 200 ul. 

Our services are provided through our Sample Submission Portal. Please follow our Sample Submission Guidelines and use our portal to submit your samples.  

For more information about using our portal, please refer to the Online Sample Submission Portal Instructions. For support in accessing the portal, please email

Please send samples via mail or courier to: 

Complete this form

Attn. Nicola Tait 

Garvan Molecular Genetics

Garvan Institute of Medical Research 

Level 8 

384 Victoria Street 

Darlinghurst NSW 2010  

Internal clients can drop off RNA samples in freezer 8457 and DNA samples in fridge 5117 in the corridor to TKCC, Garvan level 8, in front of room 8.05. 

Turnaround times 

For standard samples without further preparation steps, there are three turnaround options: 

  • normal (10 to 14 working days: standard price) 

  • urgent (four working days: standard price + 50% surcharge) 

  • very urgent (48 hours: standard price + 100% surcharge). 

Once your samples have been processed and the DNA or RNA samples are ready for collection, you will be notified by email via our sample submission portal’s system. Samples can be collected in person or sent via courier at your cost. 


Information about pricing is available here. 

Our supporters

Garvan's Genetics Core Facility was established in 2004 through support from the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (ACRF).

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