University of Calgary

New genomic sequencing services

UToday HomeOctober 12, 2012

A new next-generation DNA sequencer for whole genome sequencing has been acquired by the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute’s (ACHRI) genomics and bioinformatics facility. The Ion Torrent Personal Genome Machine (PGM) uses novel semiconductor-based sequencing technology to produce up to one billion base-pairs (1 Gb) of sequence in a single four-hour run.

The Ion Torrent PGM is located at the Alberta Children’s Hospital to facilitate development of future clinical tests. However, it’s available to all University of Calgary researchers through the ACHRI genomics facility, which will perform sample preparation in their labs and sequencing at the Alberta Children’s Hospital. Researchers need only to supply the isolated genomic DNA.

This new instrument provides a fast, low-cost technology suitable for small projects requiring between 50 million and 1 billion base-pairs of sequencing. With this this instrument, the university will have a platform ideally suited for rapidly sequencing whole microorganism genomes or panels of multiple disease genes – tasks which previously took many days or weeks.

Funding for this new instrument and the operation of the Genomics and Bioinformatics Facility has been generously provided by the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation and the Faculty of Medicine.

Contact Richard Pon (facility director), Paul Gordon (bioinformatics support specialist), or visit for more information.