Life Technologies announces winners of European Ion Torrent PGM Sequencer Grants Program

Life Technologies Corporation (Nasdaq: LIFE), today announced Dr. Angel Carracedo and Dr. Mark Pallen as the winners of the European Ion Torrent Personal Genome Machine (PGM™) Sequencer Grants Program.  

Each scientist will receive an Ion PGM and because of the ubiquitous nature of the Ion Torrent sequencing technology, these scientists will be able to give their labs sequencing capabilities that up to now were only prevalent in large, core sequencing centers.

In addition, Ion Torrent has awarded three runners-up an Ion PGM sequencer to support their exceptional proposals.  This award will enable the visionary scientists to conduct further research at an accelerated rate.

"In all of the proposals we saw innovative, often potentially breakthrough applications that were on the shelf simply because there was not a technology that had the speed, throughput, affordability and read length to make them practical," said Dr. Jonathan M. Rothberg, Founder and President of Ion Torrent.  "Ion Torrent is the only sequencing technology that offers the ability to do all your 'next-gen' research applications in your own lab, while enabling a new generation of research applications that need same day results."

Award Winners

Dr. Carracedo, Director of the Galician Foundation of Genomic Medicine in Spain, was awarded the grant for his proposal to create a fast and affordable method for genetic screening of research samples from newborns. 

"Up to now newborn genetic screening efforts have been limited by high cost, slow run times and limited throughput of existing sequencing technology," said Carracedo.  "Our research will be focused on developing a newborn screening based on Ion amplicon sequencing for Cistic fibrosis, Wilson disease, Hurles-Scheie disease and other congenital metabolic diseases."

Dr. Pallen, Professor of Microbial Genomics at the University of Birmingham, was awarded the grant for his proposal to identify, profile and type the healthcare-associated bacterial pathogens in hospital environments,– a huge and unmet problem that is now made solvable by the Ion PGM.

"The excessive run times and high costs of previous sequencing methods have severely limited the real-time use of sequencing in environmental microbiology settings," said Pallen.  "The Ion PGM is already an order of magnitude cheaper and quicker with a performance enabled by years of compounded Moore's law.  The ability to deliver cheap same-day results is essential to enable timely interventions in outbreak management."

Honorary Grant Winners Furthering Environmental and Ecological Research

Dr. Thomas Curtis, Professor of Environmental Engineering at Newcastle University, received an honorary grant for his proposal to routinely characterize the biology of waste-water treatment.

Dr. Howard Martin, Clinical Scientist, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and team, received a grant for their proposal to develop DNA sequence-based human leukocyte antigen (HLA) research.  

Dr. Ulf Landegren, Professor of Molecular Medicine for the Department of Genetics and Pathology at the Uppsala University, received a grant for his research proposal to run a multiplex proximity ligation assay (MultiPLAy) to measure protein biomarkers in the blood by antibody-mediated reverse translation of proteins to DNA sequences.

The Ion PGM Sequencer Grant Program was designed to foster the development of new research applications for DNA sequencing that leverage the instrument's unprecedented speed, scalability and low cost.  These grants were also given in honor of the pioneering work of Drs. James Watson and Gordon Moore, which inspired the creation of the Ion Torrent semiconductor sequencing technology.  The judges for the competition were Drs. Rothberg, Mathias Uhlen, George Church and Svante Paabo.


Life Technologies Corporation


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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