BU science students part of Illumina sequencing beta testing.

Illumina is a global leader in genomics and Next Generation sequencing. Illumina’s innovative sequencing and array technologies are fueling groundbreaking advancements in life science research, translational and consumer genomics, and molecular diagnostics.

This past November, Bellevue University was invited to take part in an Illumina project to beta test their new Microsoft 10 compatible sequencing software. Seven students from the Microbiology, Biology Investigation 205, and Independent Study courses were trained in the entire process, covering DNA extraction, library preparation and Next-Gen Illumina sequencing during this project.


Students showing off their Illumina swag after successfully completing their DNA sequencing library preps. From left to right: Maddy Vasquez, Morgan Leatherman, Jameson Smith, Nina Patel, Daun Kim, Fabiola Aviles, and Dayana Montano Salama.

I enjoyed the experience and it was great to be able to learn this in an environment where we can try things out and even sometimes fail, but in the end I appreciate getting more hands-on knowledge of the whole sequencing process’ says Fabiola Aviles, a senior Biology major at BU.

Two sequencing runs were performed after upgrading the MiniSeq system. The second run was performed using a pooled library exclusively prepared by Bellevue University students and faculty. Both sequencing runs were successfully completed, and feedback shared with the Illumina team.

 “We truly appreciate the continuous engagement of Dr. John Kyndt and his team during beta testing. Illumina is delighted to empower genomic research of the next generation biologists at BU” says Violet Chu, Senior Product Manager and lead of the Illumina Beta testing team

Dr. John Kyndt who was the lead BU Faculty for this project states that “This was a unique opportunity for both the BU Faculty and students to work closely with a major global company on an innovative sequencing project. We were able to provide Illumina with valuable customer feedback while students had an exclusive chance to learn a new technology and connect with industry leaders in the field of genomics.”

Are you a BU Biology student interested in doing some research or learning Next Gen sequencing yourself? Contact one of the professors at the BU Science labs and we’ll be happy to get you involved!

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