With New Technology, The Hussman Institute is a Sequencing Powerhouse
With delivery of the latest state-of-the-art next-generation sequencing technology, The John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics (HIHG) at the Miller School is now one of the largest facilities in the Southeast for next-generation sequencing (NGS). NGS technology increases the amount of sequencing one billion times over previous techniques, improving the accuracy and amount of DNA that can be sequenced to previously unobtainable levels. And its cost-per-sequencing output: much less. In a single sequencing run, researchers can now obtain data it would have taken a decade to obtain with other approaches. The entire DNA sequence of an individual can now be sequenced with these instruments.
This new technology has already changed how medicine and research are practiced. Its efficiency and power are allowing DNA sequencing to be used for medical diagnoses, and to identify new disease mechanisms. Work is underway at the HIHG and other centers to use NGS to bring sequencing into regular preventive medical care.
The HIHG’s sequencing center is unique because it has the technology and expertise to carry out a thorough and accurate NGS study. Working with UM’s Center for Computational Science, HIHG researchers have developed a “pipeline” that allows them to analyze and store these large amounts of data, with greater than a petabyte (one million gigabytes) of data allocated for these efforts. Eden Martin, Ph.D., professor and director of the Center for Genetic Epidemiology and Statistical Genetics, recently received a two-year, $1 million grant from the NIH to develop new statistical approaches for analysis of NGS data.
The HIHG’s sequencing facility is located in the Biomedical Research Building and is part of the HIHG’s Center for Genome Technology. The center houses several sequencing platforms that facilitate low-, medium- and high-throughput sequencing for every research application, including seven NGS sequencers and multiple Sanger capillary sequencers.