Texas A&M University and The University of Texas at Arlington have established The Texas Genomics Core Alliance to increase access to and decrease costs of cutting-edge, high-throughput genomics sequencing technologies.
“By reducing costs and speeding up the process we can make genomics into a commodity and enhance innovation across the biotech, biomedical and industrial sectors,” said Jon Weidanz, UTA associate vice president for research and founding director of UTA’s North Texas Genome Center.
“The alliance will also enable greater support for emerging fields such as gene editing and synthetic biology, which involve the creation of artificial biological systems such as biosensors, biocomputers, synthetic DNA or enhanced proteins, for research, engineering and medical applications.”
The alliance, signed by UTA’s North Texas Genome Center and Texas A&M’s Institute for Genome Sciences and Society, brings together the expertise and resources for large-scale genomic sample preparation and bioinformatics analysis at A&M with the massive sequencing capacity housed at UTA. This partnership will increase sequencing capabilities available to investigators at both institutions while decreasing the cost and time required for data generation.
“Collaborations such as this will allow Texas A&M to continue raising the bar in human, animal and plant sciences at the state, national and global levels,” said David Threadgill, University Distinguished Professor and director of Texas A&M’s Institute for Genomics Sciences and Society.
“Partnerships such as the TGCA that leverage complimentary expertise across the state of Texas have tremendous potential to increase the breadth and impact of research by reducing barriers and costs for investigators at Texas A&M and UTA,” added Threadgill.
The Molecular Genomics Core in the Institute for Genomics Sciences has several automated platforms already in place to prepare and analyze tens of thousands of samples per year for whole genome sequencing, genotype-by-sequencing, RNA sequencing and single cell sequence profiling. With the formation of this new alliance, the Molecular Genomics Core will extend its support for sample preparation and computational analysis beyond Texas A&M to include UTA researchers and other members of the alliance as they join the group.
The North Texas Genome Center at UTA will offer Texas A&M researchers access to the most powerful, highest throughput and least expensive next-generation sequencing technology available. The NTGC already has two Illumina NovaSeq 6000 systems with the capacity to sequence up to 10,000 human genomes per year. An additional three systems will be installed over the next few months, providing the center with the capability to sequence the equivalent of 25,000 human genomes every year.