BCIT launches the Next Generation Sequencing Lab to advance healthcare training

BCIT is excited to announce the launch of the Clinical Genetic Technology program‘s Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) lab using the state-of-the-art illumina iSeq instrument. This lab is the first of its kind in a Canadian post-secondary to offer hands-on NGS training for Clinical Diagnostics.

This innovative lab is at the forefront of modern technology to provide cutting-edge genetic testing for a wide range of human diseases. Training on the iSeq platform for DNA sequencing helps students develop a deeper understanding of the methods and techniques used in DNA sequencing, a deeper understanding of the underlying biology and genetics, and develop skills in data analysis.

“I learned about NGS in my undergrad studies but I never really got any hands-on experience with it so, to actually do this is kind of mind-blowing to me,” shares Clinical Genetics student Thomas Lemke.

NGS is used to identify novel and rare cancer mutations, detect familial cancer mutation carriers, and provide molecular rationale for appropriate targeted therapy. As technology continues to evolve, NGS could be used for even more disease diagnosis in the future.

Illumina is a leading provider of DNA sequencing technology, and has partnered with BCIT to provide the reagents necessary for student learning. Illumina equipment and reagents are used at BC Cancer, BC Children’s Hospital, BC Women’s Hospital, and other clinical genetics labs.

The Clinical Genetic Technology program is committed to staying at the forefront of the field of Medical Laboratory Science and the addition of this NGS lab into our curriculum is a testament to that commitment.

Mandy Harris, Clinical Genetics Program Head adds, “We are thrilled to be able to offer student training in this advanced technology for genetic testing and analysis. As our students graduate with these additional skills, patients across Canada will benefit –making a significant impact on the health and well-being of our community.”

This lab marks a new era in genetic testing education and BCIT is proud to be leading the charge.

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