The Data Tsunami from Next Generation Sequencing in Biology



The Data Tsunami from Next Generation Sequencing in Biology

TEIN4 Next-Generation Sequencing Application Workshop
(L-R): Facilitators Dr. Setia Pramana of the Institute of Statistics, Indonesia and Karolinska Institutet, Sweden and Dr. Fredj Tekaia of the Institut Pasteur, France with participants of the on Next -Generation Sequencing workshop at Perdana University.

TEIN4 Next-Generation Sequencing Application Workshop
Participants consisting of wet-lab biologists, mathematicians, statisticians, and computer scientists from across South East Asia listening to speaker Dr. Fredj Tekaia of the Institut Pasteur, France at the Next -Generation Sequencing workshop at Perdana University.

The Perdana University Centre for Bioinformatics (PU-CBi) in collaboration with Trans Eurasia Information Network (STAR) Cooperation Center (TEIN*CC) recently organised a workshop on Next-Generation Sequencing Application at the University’s campus in Serdang.

The workshop was sponsored by TEIN*CC under their Trans-Eurasia Information Network Generation Four (TEIN4) project, aimed at enhancing exchange and cooperation among research and education communities in Asia and between Asia and Europe. This workshop was also supported by the Malaysian Research and Education Network (MYREN).

Thirty participants were shortlisted from 80 registrants and they came from TEIN4 member countries such as Malaysia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, the Phillipines, Pakistan and Vietnam. They attended a three-day workshop, facilitated by Dr. Fredj Tekaia of the Institut Pasteur, France and Dr. Setia Pramana of the Institute of Statistics, Indonesia and Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.

“Next generation sequencing (NGS) is a high throughput approach to sequencing the code of life, the genetic material of an organism (DNA or RNA). NGS has become a commodity and will be of reach to more traditional biologists with the commercialization of various affordable desktop sequencers.” explains Dr Asif Khan who heads the Bioinformatics Centre at Perdana University. “It has largely driven the ‘omics’ revolution, allowing the description of the molecular landscape of an organism with astonishing depth and breadth. However, as the data deluge continues to rise rapidly, the analysis bottleneck remains.” he added.

This workshop was designed for wet-lab biologists, mathematicians, statisticians, and computer scientists who are embarking upon research projects that will require the analysis of next generation sequence data. The objective was to provide an introduction to data analyses pipeline, tools and resources for genomics and transcriptomics of next generation sequence data, with the goal of better preparing the researchers for analyses of NGS data.

“It is uncommon to come across a workshop such as this and I am happy to be able to participate in it and acquire information on the new advances in the area of NGS,”  said Frilasita Aisyah Yudhaputri  from the Eijkman Institute of Molecular Biology Jakarta. “This is a very specialised field and the opportunity to meet peers means that I would have colleagues to network with and share experience and expertise,” she added.

Another participant, Andrew D Montecillo, a microbiologist from the Philippines said that more governments are investing in research and developments in this field and that sooner than later NGS would be a major tool used in DNA analysis.

NGS is part of a larger inter-disciplinary field commonly known as bioinformatics. There is currently a high demand for bioinformaticians worldwide, which is largely unmet, in-part due to a shortage in the supply of qualified and trained bioinformaticians. To help meet this demand, the Perdana University School for Postgraduate Studies, through its Centre for Bioinformatics, is offering several bioinformatics educational programmes at various levels of qualifications (Postgraduate Diploma, PgDip; Master of Science, MSc; and Doctor of Philosophy, PhD) that have been carefully designed in consultation with leading academic and industry experts of the field.

The over-arching goal of these programmes is to produce bioscientists who are able to perform well in the research realm of the New Biology of tomorrow. The programmes are approved by the Ministry of Education (MOE) Malaysia, with strong endorsements from the Asia-Pacific Bioinformatics Network (APBioNET) and industry partners in the field.

Graduates of the programme will be able to develop and apply innovative solutions to complex research problems, further their education in bioinformatics or any field of life sciences (basic, applied or services), or pursue a career in the life sciences, either in academia or industry.

More information on the programmes can be obtained from the University’s website: http://perdanauniversity.edu.my/pusps/ or call 03-8941 7661

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