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Life Tech Announces Winners of European Ion Torrent Sequencing Grants Program

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Life Technologies today announced the winners and runners-up of the European Ion Torrent Personal Genome Machine Sequencer Grants Program.

The winners are Angel Carracedo and Mark Pallen. The runners-up are Thomas Curtis, Howard Martin, and Ulf Landegren.

Carracedo and Pallen each receive an Ion PGM sequencing system at no cost to support their research. Curtis, Martin, and Landegren are being awarded the Ion PGM at a lower cost, a Life Tech spokeswoman said.

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," Life Tech said.

He and his team's research will seek to develop newborn screening based on Ion amplicon sequencing for cystic fibrosis, Wilson disease, Hurles-Scheie disease, and other congenital metabolic diseases.

Pallen, a professor of microbial genomics at the University of Birmingham, UK, was awarded the grant in recognition of his proposal "to identify, profile, and type the healthcare-associated bacterial pathogens in hospital environments," Life Tech said.

Curtis is a professor of environmental engineering at Newcastle University, UK, and will use the sequencer to characterize the biology of waste-water treatment. Martin, a clinical scientist at Cambridge University Hospital HNS Found Trust, UK, will use the platform to develop DNA-sequence-based HLA research. Landegren, a professor of molecular medicine at Uppsala University in Sweden, is using the system "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," according to Life Tech.

The grant program was originally announced last spring. Judges for the competition were Jonathan Rothberg, the founder of Ion Torrent; Mathias Uhlen, professor of microbiology at the Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden; George Church, professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School and director of the Center for Computational Genetics; and Svante Paabo, director, Department of Genetics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology