New York Genome Center (NYGC), a non-profit engaged in a cooperative effort to transform medical research and clinical care, has launched its innovation center, which will provide access to new sequencing technologies and foster collaboration among NYGC’s institutional founding members (IFMs) and technology collaborators.
Through an agreement with Life Technologies, the center will first adopt the Ion Proton Sequencer, which is designed to sequence an entire human genome in just a few hours for under $1,000. Four sequencers will be housed at IFM Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
“We believe the adoption of technologies and ultimately the advancement of science and medicine is about building connections and this is what NYGC is trying to do. The NYGC innovation center is serving as a broker of relationships to bring new technologies forward, of which Life Technologies’ Ion Proton Sequencer is the first,” said Nancy J. Kelley, JD, MPP, founding executive director of NYGC.
NYGC and IFM scientists will be among the first laboratories to receive and validate the Ion Proton Sequencer, a new “next-next generation” sequencing technology, prior to its expected commercial release. The four sequencers are scheduled to be delivered to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, however all data from the results of the technology validation will be shared among the IFMs.
“We are extremely excited to be the first site for NYGC’s innovation center, through which we are gaining access to this technology,” said Thomas J. Kelly, M.D., Ph.D., director of Sloan-Kettering Institute. “We believe the system will greatly accelerate the rate at which we can collect information about the molecular changes in DNA that give rise to diseases such as cancer, enabling us to better exploit this information to develop more effective therapeutic strategies in the future.”
The technology will enable IFM scientists to more quickly examine the genetic changes, or mutations, which occur in lethal cancers, understand how these mutations influence response to therapy and identify cancer-specific therapeutic targets.
The NYGC has allocated capital and operational budgets to its innovation center to fund purchases of “next-next generation” sequencing technology, which will allow NYGC and IFM scientists to test and publish on these technologies. This “lab-within-a-lab” will aim to provide the latest technologies to IFMs while minimizing cost and risk, create a vibrant community of users that will help shape future sequencing technologies and applications and establish thought leadership through early publications.
A pilot NYGC laboratory at the Rockefeller University is expected to house some of the innovation center sequencing and data analysis until NYGC officially opens its door in 2013.