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New Mexico Tech and NCGR join to create the New Mexico Genome Sequencing Center

by Stephen Kingsmore, NCGR
(505) 995 4466; sfk@ncgr.org

Santa Fe, N.M., January 12, 2007 – The New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (NMT), Socorro, NM, and the National Center for Genome Resources (NCGR), Santa Fe, NM, announced today that they have established a partnership to create the New Mexico Genome Sequencing Center (NMGSC).

The State of New Mexico has provided $600,000 in funding to establish the Center, which will be located at NCGR in Santa Fe. The NMGSC will be the first in the nation to focus on medical resequencing. Medical resequencing is a new approach for discovery of the genetic basis of common human diseases or important crop traits. It refers to the large scale sequencing of the genome of many individuals affected by a disease or with a trait of interest. Medical sequencing is being made possible by next-generation DNA sequencing instruments and software that are dramatically increasing the speed and throughput of DNA sequencing.

“The New Mexico Genome Sequencing Center is being established to serve the needs of researchers at all New Mexico universities and research institutes,” stated Dr. Daniel H. López, President of NMT. “The NMGSC will focus on problems that are important to New Mexicans.”

Initial NMGSC programs include sequencing the genome of the major pathogen of chile crops and the Schizophrenia Genome Project. Chile pathogen sequencing is being undertaken in collaboration with the Joint Genome Institute of the Department of Energy, Walnut Creek, CA, and 454 LifeSciences Inc., New Haven, CT, and is funded by grants from the US Department of Agriculture, National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy. The Schizophrenia Genome Project is being undertaken in collaboration with the MIND Institute and University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM.
Stated Dr. Stephen F. Kingsmore, President of NCGR, “Medical resequencing is a natural extension of fourteen years of experience by NCGR in software development for DNA sequence analysis. We believe that the NMGSC will attract biotechnology and pharmaceutical interest to the region.”

About the National Center for Genome Resources (NCGR)

NCGR is a non-profit research institute dedicated to improving human health and nutrition through collaborative research at the intersection of bioscience, computing and mathematics.

About New Mexico Tech (NMT)

NMT is a research university based in Socorro, NM, specializing in science and engineering education and research. NMT is a world leader in many areas of research, including hydrology, astrophysics, atmospheric physics, geophysics, homeland security, information technology, geosciences, energetic materials engineering, and petroleum recovery.