Sonalee Laboratory Wish List

The Sonalee Laboratory is sponsored by the Marfan Trust. We urgently need to replace some of the equipment in the laboratory and buy new instruments to broaden our research. We have itemised below the list which we are looking for donations towards.

We are happy to meet with you and chat about this list further, so please do get in touch. You can reach us on +44 (0)20 7594 1605 or email

If you would like to purchase or help towards a percentage of one of these items, please email the Marfan Trust and find out the best way to do this. If you would like to visit the Sonalee Laboratory, meet the team and find out how your donation will help the Sonalee Laboratory, please email us and we can arrange a time.


Donations for students [£5 or £100 per student] VERY IMPORTANT!

To help students with their training. A £5 donation would go towards a daily Oyster bus pass and a £100 donation would go towards a monthly travel card for one student


Whole Genome Sequencing  (WGS) screening [£1,000 for 1 sample]

This will screen a patient’s DNA in the latest technology available: whole genome sequencing (exons and introns).

The Sonalee Laboratory will send the sample out and the data will be sent back to us to be analysed. We will look for mutations in the FBN1 gene and the data will help us to analyse modifier genes, which are genes with variants that might influence the different characteristics of Marfan syndrome patients. As a consequence, there will be less blood extractions and a possibility of saving money in consumables used when fully screened by Sanger sequencing. The advantage of WGS over WES (whole exome sequencing) is that we will be able to analyse the introns (some variants found in introns have been described as a causative mutation for Marfan syndrome).


Director of the Sonalee Laboratory for 1 year [£50,000 per year, currently funded through fundraising by the Marfan Trust]

This salary will help the director of the Sonalee Laboratory to continue with research in the Sonalee Laboratory.



PhD studentship [£25,000 per year - for 4 years £100,000]

This PhD studentship will allow a student to gain a PhD in molecular genetics in the Sonalee Laboratory.


Technician [£22,000 per year]

This technician will help with the workload currently present in the Sonalee Laboratory as well as being trained in the latest technology for mutation screening.


Industrial placement student for 1 year [£12,000]

A BSc course is structured as a 3-year or 4-year course if the student chooses a one-year industrial placement (sandwich year) where they can gain experience in laboratory techniques. This student will help for 1 year with the current workload in the Sonalee Laboratory. The student will be trained with the latest technologies available in the molecular genetics of Marfan syndrome.  Students will gain skills and knowledge that can be transferred to further their career.


Summer studentship [£3,000 per student/per summer]

This studentship will be used to host students who don’t have any means to sustain themselves when they come for Marfan syndrome laboratory training during the summer.


Conference:  American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) USA [£2,500 for 1 attendee. Ideally we would like to fund 2-3 attendees]

The money will go towards membership fees, conference fees, ESTA fees, flights, accommodation and other costs such as food and transportation. This conference is very important for networking, training and attending scientific talks. The latest technology would be presented at the conference to the scientific attendees including our presentations of cutting edge research by the Sonalee Laboratory (Marfan Trust genetic laboratory at St. George’s University of London). Presentations at the ASHG meeting and other published papers and talks by the Sonalee Laboratory team can be found here:


Post-Doctoral studentship for 1 year [£40,000 per year]

This Post-Doctoral studentship will allow a student to continue research with us after their accomplishment of a PhD in September 2017 in molecular genetics in the Sonalee Laboratory.



Thanks to the tremendous generosity of our sponsors, we have been able to accomplish so far this academic year 2016-2017:


Water-bath incubator – The new device is bigger and better than the replaced one. The students are very happy they don’t need to keep running to the second floor where a spare one was available, thanks to the help of other scientists at the university.


Two New Computers  – The two new computers will be replacing two ancient PCs that  were about to expire anytime soon. They are a very welcome addition to the Sonalee Laboratory.


Set of pipettes – These two sets of pipettes will be replacing old equipment. This will give us the chance to host more students. It will also facilitate the workflow in the laboratory and increase the accuracy, whilst minimizing DNA contamination.


Three Vortex-mixers – These devices will replace three very old machines. They will enable us to increase reliability following protocols that require good mixing.


Magnetic stirrer with heating block – The current stirrer needed to be replaced. This equipment is used in the mixing of reagents and buffers used in the laboratory.


Conference:  American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) Vancouver, Canada – A very generous donation sponsored one attendee to go to the ASHG conference that was held in Vancouver, Canada. The attendee went and presented a poster on Marfan syndrome, (available at - an approach to Genotype-Phenotype association) and had the opportunity to go to 3 workshops in bioinformatics whilst at the conference.


We were able to accomplish the following during the last academic year 2015-2016:


Exome sequencing course in Cambridge from the Wellcome Trust – This course was undertaken, and now, Dr Aragon-Martin is more independent in analysing data produced in the NGS machines (Genome and Exome sequencing data).


We were able to accomplish the following during the academic year 2014-2015:


Computer Memory Upgrade – We have 3 iMacs with memory ranging from 2G to 4G. Due to the high volume of work, we were able to upgrade their memory.  Now, these 3 computers run more efficiently.


Powerful Computer – This computer is used to analyse very complex exome sequencing data.


All of this was achieved thanks to the tremendous generosity of our sponsors.



Sonalee Laboratory Wish List
Sonalee Laboratory Wish List


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