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DNA sequencer acquired by the University of Westminster

30 July 2012

The University of Westminster has recently purchased the latest technological breakthrough in the field of DNA sequencing; the semiconductor Ion Torrent™ Personal Genome Machine (PGMTM)

The semiconductor Ion Torrent™ Personal Genome Machine is the most advanced and efficient semiconductor sequencing-based machine currently available, delivering the fastest run times, at the most affordable price, of any next-generation sequencer. It will form the basis for our new contract research service, Westminster Genomic Services (WGS).

WGS is based within the University and will form a dynamic institutional hub, making next-generation sequencing more accessible to scientists and researchers around the world. The service will be headed up by Dr. Sterghios A. Moschos, MSB, Reader at the University of Westminster; an ex-Pfizer employee with over 10 years’ industrial and academic molecular biology laboratory experience.

Speaking of the machine, Dr. Moschos said:

“The PGM is the most advanced and versatile machine of its kind. Using computer microchip technology it reads the DNA code of any sample you could think of. From cancer patient biopsies to marine sediment quality samples and from high performance athlete genes to finding new ways to monitor and treat disease, it is a tool that will help bring the Westminster student experience and research quality to the 21st century.”

The acquisition of the PGM is an exciting and important University-wide development, and one which is anticipated to create many new research, teaching and business opportunities. This, in turn, will enhance the University’s reputation as a research-driven institute within the larger biotech community and cement our position as one of the UK’s leading dynamic and progressive learning environments.

Dr. Moschos continues: “Next Generation Sequencing is poised to become the breakthrough technology in diagnosing disease. It will enable the University of Westminster to train the next generation of bioscientists in the newest technologies and will launch Westminster Genomic Services to the London and South East biotech and clinical research community. ”

The state-of-the-art technologies offered at WGS will cover a range of custom projects and applications, including whole genome, amplicon, target and de novo sequencing.  WGS has been created to benefit a wide range of projects and welcomes collaborative arrangements with clinical research and other academic organisations.

About Westminster Genomic Services:

Westminster Genomic Services (WGS) is a new contract research service, offering rapid turnaround Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) from within University of Westminster premises. Empowered by customer-focused central University services and discipline diversity within the School of Life Sciences, WGS is uniquely positioned to adapt and apply rapidly evolving genomic technologies to wide-ranging research areas, providing the very best in terms of service, speed and simplicity.  

WGS conducts world-class research with a diverse portfolio of projects including: biomarker discovery and diagnostic assay development; environmental monitoring; basic molecular & disease biology; microorganism genetics and transcriptomics; crop biology and screening; drug delivery and pharmacology; clinical medicine research. Unlike other University-based services, WGS offers a competitively priced service catering for external commercial clients first, supported by an academic organisational structure. WGS welcomes collaborative arrangements with clinical, governmental and academic organisations.


About the University of Westminster:

The University of Westminster boasts a vibrant learning environment attracting more than 20,000 students from over 150 nations and we continue to invest in our future with new developments, research projects and new ideas.

We offer highly attractive practice-based courses that are independently rated as excellent, many with international recognition. Our distinguished 175-year history has meant we lead the way in many areas of research, particularly politics, media, art and design, architecture and biomedical sciences, and our position in the city of London allows us to continue to build on our close connections with leading figures and organisations in these areas as well as in the worlds of business, information technology, politics and law.

Our commitment to educating graduates for the needs of professional life attracts high quality students from within the UK and around the globe.

Internationalisation, employability and sustainability are key elements in the University of Westminster’s vision for the future and we strive to ensure the very highest standards are met and maintained.


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