Career Center

SoMCC Event


Industry Insights: Harnessing Nature’s Powerful DNA Sequencing Engine: Single Molecule Real Time Sequencing-by-Synthesis

Date: March 11, 2009
Time: 12:00-1:30 PM
Location: Munzer Auditorium

Sponsor: SoMCC

Event details:

SMRT (single molecule real time) DNA sequencing is a novel, high throughput method for sequencing DNA.  Historically, the majority of DNA sequence data collected has been acquired through the use of DNA polymerase enzymes. However, the methods used squander the inherent power of the enzyme as a sequencing engine.  Viewed as such, DNA polymerases can read up to 1000 bases per second per molecule, do so over DNA lengths of 100,000 bases or more, replicate with high fidelity and consume only one molecule per base sequenced.

To harness this power, Pacific Biosciences has developed a method of eavesdropping on template-directed synthesis by DNA polymerase in real-time.  The first is phospholinked nucleotides where, in contrast to other sequencing approaches, the fluorescent label is attached to the terminal phosphate rather than the base.  The enzyme cleaves away the fluorophore as part of the incorporation process, leaving behind completely natural double-stranded DNA.  The second critical component is zero-mode waveguide (ZMW) confinement technology that allows single-molecule detection at concentrations of labeled nucleotides relevant to the enzyme.  Through the combination of these innovations, our technology allows the speed, processivity, efficiency and fidelity of the enzyme to be exploited.  We apply this technology to shotgun sequencing using a fast and simple sample preparation concept that facilitates whole-genome sequencing directly from genomic DNA.  Using a strand-displacing DNA polymerase, we will also demonstrate sequencing multiple times around a circular strand of DNA, allowing consensus sequencing on an individual molecule.  This enables high confidence detection of low frequency variants even in heterogeneous samples, enabling new applications in biology and medicine.
About our Presenter:  
Dr. Turner founded Pacific Biosciences in 2004, oversees scientific and technical direction of the company, and is a member of its Board of Directors.  During his graduate work he studied the behavior of biomolecules in nano-fabricated structures, and contributed to the establishment of the Nanotechnology Center at Cornell.  He was a member of the project team that developed the technology employed by Pacific Biosciences, and was co-author of the cover story in Science magazine (January 31, 2003) that introduced the technology to the scientific community.  He has authored over 30 scientific papers in wide-ranging fields including genetics, nanofluidics, cell attachment to chemically- and topographically- modified surfaces, x-ray lithography and process modeling.  He received the MIT Technology Review "TR100" Award in 2003 and the U. Wisconsin Distinguished Young Alumnus Award in 2008.  He is a sitting member of the National Institutes of Health grant review study section on new technologies.  He earned his B.S. degrees from U. Wisconsin and Ph.D. from Cornell. 

Fee: Free and open to Stanford ID holders.
Additional information and/or registration: RSVP required. Register online

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