UMGC Research Town Hall with CBS

Genomics is in transition, and so is the UMGC. 

Date: Friday, January 19th, 2024
Time: 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Location: 128 Snyder Hall 

With the expiration of dozens of NGS technology patents, there has been an explosion of sequencing instrumentation options, and there will be a dramatic drop in NGS cost per read in the next few months. In other words, sequencing per se is becoming a commodity, and wet-lab genomics is no longer primarily about sequencer hardware; the UMGC will not serve the UMN community simply by owning and operating "big iron".

At the same time, the "software" of wet-lab genomics -- the myriad ways of constructing libraries to feed into sequencers -- is flourishing like never before. Spatial genomics, single-cell genomics, proteomics-by-genomics, gene-editing QC, epigenomic analyses including 6-base sequencing, microbiome methods, the analysis of structural variants, low-level somatic variant detection: these are all areas where "wet-lab software" -- aka NGS library workflows -- are the enabling technology.

In response, the UMGC is undergoing a physical and organizational transformation aiming to make us the best possible partner for help with "wet-lab software". This includes our announcement of "tiered" services, which will give users more control over the "speed-versus-cost" tradeoff, and the consolidation of routine service operations into a large off-campus lab where we will be able to achieve the efficiencies and scale that tiered service offerings will require. Even more exciting, perhaps: it will involve the January 2024 launch of walk-in access in our CCRB location, where we will train and host scientists working alongside us to directly access the tools we have ("teach a person to fish"...).

The goal of our town hall will be to meet with our community of CBS users, explain these ongoing changes, and most critically, get feedback about how we can best tailor our offerings to support CBS research. 

If you are interested in hosting a UMGC Town Hall for your department or unit, please contact Kenny Beckman, UMGC Director, at