30 Jan 2019
Four expert groups based at the University of Glasgow have combined to launch a new venture which they describe as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for genetic sequencing.
Glasgow Polyomics, Stratified Medicine Scotland Innovation Centre (SMS-IC), Glasgow University Centre for Virus Research (CVR) and the Glasgow Precision Oncology Lab (GPOL) are the four partners involved in the new enterprise, known as Precision Sequencing. The sequencing capability on offer at Precision Sequencing will be one of the largest in the UK.
Genetic sequencing involves determining the order of the four chemical building blocks - called "bases" - that make up DNA. Sequencing allows scientists to compare DNA quickly and cheaply. It can uncover information about the role of genetics in susceptibility to disease, how disease progresses, response to treatment, and response to environmental pressures. The ability to sequence the human genome quickly and cost-effectively creates vast potential for new diagnostics and therapies.
The broad range of expertise offered by the four partners will allow Precision Sequencing to assist clinicians, researchers, industry partners and the NHS alike.
Dr Allison Jackson of Glasgow Polyomics said: “If an organisation has genetic sequencing requirements, it can be difficult to know which provider is best suited to its needs. Bringing these four partners together provides a single, clear point of entry to the sequencing services that the University of Glasgow can provide.
“Each partner brings something different to the table. SMS-IC focus on precision medicine, which is all about finding the right medicine for the right person at the right time. The CVR team are experts in sequencing viruses, while GPOL specialise in sequencing the genomes of cancer. Glasgow Polyomics have broad expertise in many types of sequencing, on a wide variety of samples including humans, animals, plants and parasites.”
Marian McNeil, Interim Chief Operating Officer of SMS-IC added: “This streamlined approach will offer greater opportunities for sharing resources, training and collaboration on research projects and will widen the reach of our genetic sequencing capability. Next-generation sequencing is a fast-paced area, so bringing these four groups together will also ensure our technicians are up-to-date with the most state-of-the-art sequencing technology.
“Precision Sequencing has the potential to be a thriving partnership where all four partners support each other and have the capability to work on large-scale sequencing projects.”
Precision Sequencing has had £10,000 of start-up support from the University of Glasgow’s ‘Knowledge Exchange Fund’ and a further £10,000 grant from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council’s Proximity to Discovery Fund.