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Expert on future of genomic medicine visiting University

Expert on future of genomic medicine visiting University of Auckland

A leading researcher on human genome sequencing and its potential for large-scale population study of disease will speak at a University of Auckland seminar in the School of Biological Sciences.

A leading researcher on human genome sequencing and its potential for large-scale population study of disease will speak at a University of Auckland seminar in the School of Biological Sciences.

Head of the Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics at Australia’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Associate Professor Marcel Dinger and his team have made genome sequencing available on a broad scale using the Illumina HiSeq X Ten Sequencing System.

The system is capable of sequencing more than 300 whole human genomes per week.

Associate Professor Dinger says generating and analysing DNA sequences has the potential to address the clinical needs of thousands of people with genetic diseases and those diagnosed with cancer.

“The real power of Next Generation Sequencing is to revolutionise genetic diagnostic testing to substantially improve diagnostic yields in patients with diseases from single-gene defects,” he says.

Scientists believe genomic sequencing will revolutionise medicine and personal health management of disease. Potentially it will help millions of people reduce their risk of common diseases such as diabetes and stroke. It will also help identify novel gene regulators (all genes are regulated to control genetic information) that may prove to have valuable new application as biomarkers and therapeutic targets for disease and early human development.

Associate Professor Dinger gained his PhD from the University of Waikato and gained a New Zealand Foundation for Science and Technology Postdoctoral Fellowship to the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at the University of Queensland before moving to the Garvan Institute.

His current research focuses on understanding and dissecting the function of noncoding regions of the genome that are associated with human disease and development. He also leads research that uses sequencing approaches to characterise the molecular evolution of tumours.

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