The Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology at Mount Sinai has purchased a suite of 16 next-generation sequencing (NGS) systems and ancillary technology from Thermo Fisher Scientific’s Ion Torrent portfolio for genomics research in a new facility designed for studies requiring large volumes of samples.

Eight Ion Proton Sequencers, eight Ion Chef Systems, the Torrent Suite Variant Caller, and AmpliSeq Custom Panels will be deployed in Mount Sinai’s new genomics research center located in Branford, CT.  The facility will focus on large-volume sequencing projects for research applications. Thermo Fisher collaborated with Mount Sinai scientists to develop custom AmpliSeq targets derived for gene targets chosen by Mount Sinai investigators to comprise the largest custom panel to date (26,000 amplicons across two pools).

“After considering the sequencing systems on the market, the Ion Proton was a clear choice for high-throughput targeted sequencing,” said Robert Sebra, Ph.D., director of technology development and assistant professor of genetics and genomic sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “Its low per-sample cost, robustness across sample types, rapid end-to-end data generation, and the breadth of the AmpliSeq targeted custom panel for screening hundreds of targeted genes in a single sequencing assay indicated the platform as a highly efficient system for addressing the large volume and diversity of samples we intend to sequence in our new NGS lab.”

The new custom panel covers over 700 genes that have been known to increase the risk for inherited genetic diseases, cancer, cardiovascular, obesity, and other disorders. The Ion Proton platform will also be deployed in support of Mount Sinai’s Resilience Project, a research program that aims to identify and better understand genes and other factors that may protect certain individuals from developing rare catastrophic diseases. Across a range of major projects, the Icahn Institute at Mount Sinai plans to sequence hundreds of thousands of samples over the next two-to-three years, according to Dr. Sebra.

“We are developing a wide array of clinical tests to be run on the Ion Proton platform with high-throughput, targeted sequencing of large volumes of samples in our new NGS facility at the Mount Sinai Health System. For example, New York State Department of Health recently approved a test for clinical care for different types of cancer using specific mutations represented on our new ‘Ion AmpliSeq Cancer Hotspot Panel,’ which interrogates hotspot regions of oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes,” added Eric Schadt, Ph.D., the Jean C. and James W. Crystal Professor of Genomics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and founding director of the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology. “As we scale up to processing large volumes of samples, we expect to rapidly advance our translational research findings in major disease areas such as cancer, rare inherited disorders, and characterization of risk across a broad spectrum of common human diseases.”