Hyderabad: In a move that will mark the beginning of a new era in India’s genomics capability, Nucleome Informatics today unveiled South Asia’s largest and most advanced genomics facility, NKC Centre for Genomics Research in Hyderabad. The laboratory will carry out the latest third-generation sequencing and play a critical role in fighting the pandemic by sequencing 5000 COVID genomes and 500 human genomes. The laboratory, established in the memory of the late 6-time Member of the Parliament from Khandwa, Shri Nand Kumar Singh Chauhan, will also play a role in upping India’s potential in agriculture, animal husbandry, and personalised / precision medicine, among others.
Hon’ble Minister of Defence, Shri Rajnath Singh along with Hon’ble Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shri Shivraj Chauhan today inaugurated the state-of-the-art laboratory at a formal ceremony held at Le Meridien in the presence of Shri Dushyant Singh Baghel, MD and CEO, Nucleome Informatics. Hon’ble Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, Prof K Vijay Raghavan also attended the event.
“We are celebrating 75 years of independence and Information technology in the 90s took us to great heights. I believe genomics is the sunrise sector of the 21st century which will play an important role. Next generation sequencing can bring revolution in biological sciences and unprecedented progress to society. In view of climate change and COVID’s impact on people, genome sequencing can increase productivity and help healthcare – COVID genome sequencing is trying to find out that part of the virus’s DNA that does not change, which will contribute to vaccine development. I have been informed that the centre will sequence 5000 COVID genomes and 500 human genomes for healthcare,” said Hon’ble Minister of Defence, Shri Rajnath Singh.
“India is committed to doubling farmer’s income which will require an increase in productivity, reducing input cost and loss of crop, and right price of the crop. Agrigenomics can help in increasing productivity, reducing input cost, and increasing resistance to disease. I am sure that agrigenomics will become important and useful for addressing challenges of Indian agriculture and doubling farmers’ income,” said Hon’ble Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shri Shivraj Chauhan.
“The laboratory is an extraordinary feat and I congratulate Nucleome for this ambitious effort even while remaining connected to the root. This is a remarkable achievement of science and technology and these problem-solving approaches should be done at scale. I am impressed with the technology put in place and will look forward to its implementation,” said Hon’ble Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, Prof K Vijay Raghavan.
“Since inception, Nucleome has contributed to the fields of agrigenomics, animal husbandry and wildlife conservation. The Nand Kumar Chauhan Centre for Genomics Research is our tribute to the late Khandwa MP’s relentless service to the people. It was his continuous support and morale-boosting that motivated us to abandon the idea of moving the venture to San Diego, the US and to continue in India. The next NKC Centre for Genomics will be at Indore. With the addition of NovaSeq 6000 (the world’s largest short-read sequencing) and GeneTitan platforms, the laboratory will play a critical role in expanding the scope of our in-house services and allow seamless cross-platform services. We will soon begin to provide our in-house DrSeq suite of predictive genomics products in healthcare to analyse the data of RNA sequencing – we expect this will improve the understanding and uptake of personalized / precision medicine in India,” said Shri Dushyant Singh Baghel, MD and CEO, Nucleome Informatics.
Other Guests of Honour at the inauguration were National General Secretary, Bharatiya Janata Party, Shri Kailash Vijayvargiya, Rajya Sabha MPs Shri Rajendra Gehlot and Shri Ajay Pratap Singh as well as Hon’ble Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Dr Renu Swarup, Hon’ble Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Shri Atul Chaturvedi, and Shri Jayesh Ranjan, Hon’ble Principal Secretary of Departments of the Industries & Commerce (I&C) and Information Technology (IT), Government of Telangana.
In 2020, Nucleome was the first laboratory in South Asia to procure the third-generation long-read sequencing platform Sequel II from PacBio. Nucleome became the first Indian organization to partner in the prestigious multinational Vertebrate Genome Project of the G10K Consortium.