Oxford Nanopore Technologies congratulates our collaborators Professor Mark Akeson and Professor David Deamer of the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) on receiving a $1.1 million NIH grant under the US National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) "$1,000 Genome Sequencing Technology Development" grant programme.
Oxford Nanopore is developing a platform technology for the direct electrical analysis of single molecules. The Company's lead application is DNA sequencing, however the platform may also be developed for the analysis of other analytes including proteins. In 2008 Oxford Nanopore and UCSC announced an agreement whereby Oxford Nanopore licensed exclusively nanopore sensing science that had been developed at UCSC and also agreed to fund further research in the UCSC laboratories.
Oxford Nanopore's first generation of DNA sequencing technology uses a processive enzyme to cleave individual DNA bases from a strand, then identifies these bases as they pass in order through a nanopore.
The subsequent generation may identify DNA bases on a long, intact strand of DNA as it passes through the nanopore. A key challenge for the development of this technology is the speed at which DNA passes through the pore; in nature this is too fast to identify individual DNA bases on a strand. Professors Deamer and Akeson have been developing a method of controlling the passage of DNA using a polymerase enzyme coupled to the nanopore so that this method might be developed into an industrial DNA sequencing system.
Dr Gordon Sanghera, CEO of Oxford Nanopore Technologies, said: "We would like to congratulate Professor Akeson and Professor Deamer for this well-deserved grant. The UCSC lab is recognised as having world-leading expertise in the control of DNA molecules for nanopore sensing, which is a fundamental challenge for the second generation of nanopore sequencing technology. We are proud to be working with their talented and dedicated team."