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Oxford Nanopore congratulates collaborator  Professor Mark Akeson on $3.6 million NHGRI grant.
Oxford Nanopore congratulates collaborator Professor Mark Akeson on $3.6 million NHGRI grant.
23rd August 2011
- award to Professor Mark Akeson and collaborators  will support research into DNA ‘Strand Sequencing’ using a protein nanopore -
 
Oxford Nanopore Technologies Ltd. is pleased to congratulate Professor Mark Akeson (University of California, Santa Cruz) and his collaborators on the award of a $3.6 million, three year grant by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI).  
 
Professor Akeson has pioneered techniques to control the movement of single stranded DNA (ssDNA) through protein nanopores.  This is a key element of DNA ‘Strand Sequencing’, where DNA bases are identified in sequence as ssDNA is ratcheted through a nanopore.  In December 2010, a team of researchers led by Professor Akeson and Dr. Kate Lieberman achieved a landmark publication in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS).  This showed continuous and controlled translocation of a ssDNA polymer through a protein nanopore by a DNA polymerase enzyme, the first time this had been demonstrated in conditions commensurate with a high throughput electronics-based DNA sequencing technology.
 
Oxford Nanopore and Professor Akeson collaborate on the development of DNA Strand Sequencing techniques for the Company’s GridION platform. This partnership encompasses support of research in Professor Akeson’s UCSC laboratories and a series of exclusive license agreements for related discoveries.   The GridION system is designed to provide a scalable and versatile system for a range of nanopore sensing applications including Strand Sequencing and also the analysis of other molecules such as proteins.
 
“NHGRI and Oxford Nanopore have played leading roles in supporting DNA strand sequencing,” said Professor Mark Akeson.   “This has been crucial for our research community, and we in Santa Cruz are delighted to continue our collaboration with both groups”.
 
“The NHGRI $1,000 genome programme recognises the role of technology innovation for the future of genomics, and we would like to extend our congratulations to Mark Akeson for this grant,” said Dr Gordon Sanghera, CEO of Oxford Nanopore.  “We are proud to collaborate with Professor Mark Akeson in the translation of this exceptional science into an exceptional technology.”
 
The award to Professor Mark Akeson and his collaborators is part of the NHGRI “$1,000 genome” technology programme, designed to reduce dramatically the cost of DNA sequencing and broaden the applications of genomic information in medical research and health care.  Professor Akeson has received previous support under this programme including funds to support research into controlling large DNA fragments during nanopore sequencing ($1.1 million over two years).

-ends-
 
Notes to editors
Ref:
    Processive Replication of Single DNA Molecules in a Nanopore Catalyzed by phi29 DNA Polymerase.  Kate R. Lieberman, Gerald M. Cherf, Michael J. Doody, Felix Olasagasti, Yvette Kolodji, and Mark Akeson,  JACS J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2010, 132 (50), pp 17961–17972 DOI: 10.1021/ja1087612

    Replication of individual DNA molecules under electronic control using a protein nanopore. Felix Olasagasti, Kate R. Lieberman, Seico Benner, Gerald M. Cherf, Joseph M. Dahl, David W. Deamer and Mark Akeson.   Nature Nanotechnology 5, 798–806 (2010). DOI: 10.1038/NNANO.2010.177
 
Links:
  • NHGRI:  http://www.genome.gov/27545118
  • UCSC: http://www.soe.ucsc.edu/news/article/1965
  • Akeson lab: http://www.cbse.ucsc.edu/people/akeson
  • Oxford Nanopore Technologies: http://www.nanoporetech.com
 
About Oxford Nanopore
Oxford Nanopore Technologies Ltd is developing a novel technology for direct, electronic detection and analysis of single molecules using nanopores. The modular, scalable GridION technology platform is designed to offer substantial benefits in a variety of applications.
 
The Company is developing two techniques for DNA sequencing: Exonuclease Sequencing and Strand Sequencing, both of which combine a protein nanopore with a processive enzyme for the analysis of DNA.  The system is also compatible with the direct analysis of RNA.  Oxford Nanopore is also developing a Protein Analysis technology that combines target proteins with ligands for direct, electronic analysis using protein nanopores. These nanopore sensing techniques are combined with the Company's proprietary array chip within the GridION system. The Company also has collaborations for the development of solid-state nanopores.
 
Oxford Nanopore has collaborations and exclusive licensing deals with leading institutions including the University of Oxford, Harvard and UCSC. The Company has funding programmes in these laboratories to support the science of nanopore sensing. Oxford Nanopore has licensed or owns more than 300 patents and patent applications that relate to many aspects of nanopore sensing from protein nanopores to solid state nanopores and for the analysis of DNA, proteins and other molecules. This includes the use of functionalised solid-state nanopores for molecular characterisation, methods of fabricating solid-state nanopores and modifications of solid-state nanopores to adjust sensitivity or other parameters.