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Vol. LIX, No. 20
October 5, 2007
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NIH Intramural Sequencing Center Marks 10th Anniversary

  More than a dozen of the 45 employees of the NIH Intramural Sequencing Center can reflect on 5 years or more work experience at this trans-NIH facility. Among them are (front, from l) Dr. Gerry Bouffard, Alice Young, Dr. Baishali Maskeri, Jyoti Gupta and Quino Maduro; (middle, from l) Beatrice Barnabas and Richelle Legaspi; and rear (from l) Dr. Jenny McDowell, Charles Brinkley III, Shelise Brooks and Shi-Ling Ho.  
  More than a dozen of the 45 employees of the NIH Intramural Sequencing Center can reflect on 5 years or more work experience at this trans-NIH facility. Among them are (front, from l) Dr. Gerry Bouffard, Alice Young, Dr. Baishali Maskeri, Jyoti Gupta and Quino Maduro; (middle, from l) Beatrice Barnabas and Richelle Legaspi; and rear (from l) Dr. Jenny McDowell, Charles Brinkley III, Shelise Brooks and Shi-Ling Ho.  
Among the banners currently braced against early fall breezes on lampposts around the NIH campus are those heralding the 10th anniversary of the NIH Intramural Sequencing Center (NISC). The anniversary recognizes the emergence and progress of NISC as a trans-NIH resource for intramural investigators and as a partner in collaborations with leading genomics programs nationally and internationally.

To commemorate the anniversary, the National Human Genome Research Institute-NISC's scientific and administrative home-will host an all-day symposium on Oct. 16 in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10. With the theme, "Genome Exploration by Large-Scale DNA Sequencing: Circa 2007 and Beyond," the symposium will feature talks by nine guest speakers, all international genomics leaders (see www.genome.gov/NISC10th for details).

Symposium speakers represent the spectrum of expertise in the rapidly evolving area of large-scale DNA sequencing. Their talks will span genomic studies of the microbial world, fruit fly and humans, cancer and human evolution and social implications of our expanding genomic knowledge. The annual Jeffrey M. Trent Lecture in Cancer Research is the anticipated highlight of the symposium and will be presented by Dr. Eric Lander, founding director of the Eli and Edythe L. Broad Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. Lander is an expert in structural and functional genomics and his talk is titled, simply, "Genomic Information."

Dr. Eric Green (l), NHGRI scientific director and founding NISC director, and Robert Blakesley, director of the NISC sequencing group, are pictured in the state-of-the-art sequencing laboratory.
Dr. Eric Green (l), NHGRI scientific director and founding NISC director, and Robert Blakesley, director of the NISC sequencing group, are pictured in the state-of-the-art sequencing laboratory.

NISC now occupies the top floor of 5625 Fishers Lane in Rockville. Laboratory and computational staff produce DNA sequence data 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

A focus of NISC's current research portfolio is comparative sequencing, which involves sequencing and studying the genomes of vertebrate species. NISC researchers are credited with sequencing a targeted 1 percent of the genomes of 26 mammals, from the hedgehog to the elephant.

Over the past 10 years, NISC has cultivated a large network of more than 100 national and international scientific collaborators. These efforts have engaged NISC scientists in a broad array of research projects ranging from human disease studies to the examination of chromosome structure and evolution. The work has led to publication of more than 60 papers that include NISC staff members as coauthors.

NISC is directed by NHGRI scientific director Dr. Eric Green, who advanced the concept of establishing a high-throughput DNA sequencing facility at NIH and saw to its launch. On Oct. 16, he will preside over the celebratory symposium. "NISC has arrived at an important milestone in reaching its 10-year mark and in expanding the frontiers of large-scale DNA sequencing within a biomedical enterprise like the NIH intramural program," he said. "Much of NISC's success can be attributed to a dedicated and innovative staff who tailor approaches and methodologies to the ever-changing scientific projects that are brought to them." NIH Record Icon

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