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BGI Opens New Copenhagen Genome Research Center

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – BGI today launched a new genomics research center in Copenhagen, marking its first such center in Europe.

The 13,000 square-foot European Genome Research Center, situated in the Copenhagen Bio Science Park at the University of Copenhagen, will focus on establishing collaborations to advance genomics in healthcare, bioenergy, agriculture, and other research areas.

BGI had announced the establishment of a European office in the Danish capital, as well as a US office in Cambridge, Mass., in May 2010. But today's announcement marks the official opening of the new genome research center.

The center is stocked with 10 Illumina HiSeq 2000 sequencers, said BGI, and will house two integrated projects including an effort to identify cancer pathogens for research into cancer vaccines and another to establish a catalog of genetic variations among Danish people.

"Our primary mission of this research center is to provide BGI´s world-class expertise and infrastructure for the European researchers in genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics and other related areas," BGI Europe Director Ning Li said in a statement. "I believe this center also will strive to cultivate joint collaborations between China and Europe."

"The vision is to create the best facilities in the fields of genomics and bioinformatics, so that we have an opportunity to utilize knowledge on genomics and better Denmark's possibilities of preventing and curing diseases. We hope that it will be possible, for example, to develop a vaccine against cancer," University of Copenhagen Vice Chancellor Thomas Bjørnholm added.

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