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Mt. Sinai to Open NGS Facility, Initially Equip with Ion Torrent Platforms

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The Icahn institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology at Mt. Sinai is opening a new next-generation sequencing facility in Branford, Conn. The facility will be equipped with eight of Thermo Fisher Scientific's Ion Proton systems and eight Ion Chef systems, along with the Torrent Suite Variant Caller and customized AmpliSeq panels.

Researchers at Mt. Sinai and Thermo Fisher collaborated to develop a custom AmpliSeq panel consisting of 26,000 amplicons that cover 700 genes known to increase the risk for inherited genetic diseases, cancer, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and other disorders.

The Mt. Sinai team plans to use the Ion Proton as part of its Resilience Project, a research project to better understand the genes and other factors that may protect individuals from developing rare, catastrophic diseases.

Robert Sebra, director of technology development and an assistant professor of genetics and genomic sciences at Mt. Sinai, said in a statement that the Proton's "low per-sample cost, robustness across sample types, rapid end-to-end data generation, and the breadth of the AmpliSeq targeted custom panel for screening hundreds of targeted genes in a single sequencing assay indicated the platform as a highly efficient system for addressing the large volume and diversity of samples we intend to sequence in our new NGS lab."

Eric Schadt, the founding director of the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology, also said in the statement that the researchers plan to develop "a wide range of clinical tests to be run on the Proton" at the new sequencing facility, including an Ion AmpliSeq Cancer Hotspot Panel, which he said recently gained approval from the New York State Department of Health.

"As we scale up to processing large volumes of samples, we expect to rapidly advance our translational research findings in major disease areas such as cancer, rare inherited disorders, and characterization of risk across a broad spectrum of common human diseases," he added.

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