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NGS 2016 Benelux

November 14, 2016 - November 15, 2016

NGS 2016 Benelux

Workshop: 14th & 15th November / Conference: 16th & 17th November

The 2nd annual NGS Benelux will take place around October/November 2017

In the meantime, here you can find details about last year’s event

Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) 2016 Benelux, is an annual genomics event that took place in Brussels and was held between 14th & 17th November 2016 at the Vrije Universiteit Brussels. This event was in partnership with the Brussels Inter university Genomics High Throughput core (BRIGHTcore) – the Centre for Medical Genetics of VUB – UZ Brussels & Genome Diagnostics Nijmegen. In conjunction with the conference there was a Two day Workshop that provided Next Generation Sequencing data analysis training to those working in the wetlab who want to be able to analyse the data and understand the data analysis workflows.

NGS 2016 BeneluxThe conference looked at the latest developments in the use of Next Generation Sequencing tools and technologies to understand human disease. Aside from the routine NGS applications such as Exome, Genome and Transcriptome sequencing the audience got to hear about developing applications where sample input is limiting such as in limiting numbers of cells all the way to single cells as well as in liquid biopsies. An interesting and emerging area that looked at was the link between the gut microbiome and human disease and how NGS unraveling links to cancers and other diseases. Whilst many NGS labs are struggling to cope with data needs, we heard about the latest advances in bioinformatics workflows as well as about ethical and legal issues related to this.

A Panel Debate and a Networking Discussion allowed our experts and attendees to interact and ponder over topical issues and bottlenecks such as how NGS labs are coping with the data deluge.

An evening Networking 3-course Dinner with wine at Brasserie du Heysel helped to solidify new collaborations and relationships that you have made during the day.

For young researchers we had a Poster Display area. Dr Murielle ANDRE from ANSM in Lyon presented a poster entitled: NGS for monitoring ultra-low level of genetic mutation as a quality control test of live poliovirus vaccine.  Please click here to view the poster.

  • NGS users, researchers and students
  • Bioinformaticians
  • NHS & Private Labs, Biotech Companies, CRO’s, Service Providers

… and all those interested in the latest developments of:

  • ioinformatics
  • Biomarkers
  • Computational Biology
  • Data Analysis
  • Data interpretation
  • DNA Sequencing
  • Genetics/Genomics
  • Infectious and Inherited Diseases
  • Informatics
  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Molecular Diagnostics
  • Next Generation Sequencing



09.30 – 10.30: Registration, Coffee & Networking
10.30 – 11.15: Dr Ed Quazi – Networking and Collaborations Workshop
11.15 – 11.45: Prof Sonia Van Dooren, BRIGHTcore, Brussels –  Challenges of massive parallel sequencing data interpretation in clinical laboratory genetics
11.45 – 12.15: Prof Jeroen Raes, VIB, Brussels – Towards population-level microbiome monitoring: the Flemish Gut Flora Project
12.15 – 12.45: TECHNOLOGY PRESENTATION by Dr John Wahlgren, Covaris Active extraction of nucleic acids for NGS from challenging samples
12.45 – 14.00: Lunch, Exhibition, Networking
14.00 – 14.30: Prof Cédric Blanpain, Université Libre de Bruxelles – Genomic landscape of mouse skin squamous cell carcinoma
14.30 – 15.00: Dr Dominik Seelow, Charité, Berlin, Germany – Unveiling the causes of rare diseases: there is more than non-synonymous variants
15.00 – 15.30: TECHNOLOGY PRESENTATION by Dr Richard Dixon, Omicia Accurate and rapid clinical Whole-Genome Sequence (WGS) interpretation with Omicia for the UK’s 100,000 Genome Project
15.30 – 16.10: Coffee, Exhibition & Networking
16.10 – 16.40: Prof Mauno Vihinen, University of Lund, Sweden – Variant interpretation – high precision tools to solve the bottleneck in NGS data analysis
16.40 – 17.40: PANEL DEBATE:– How do we solve Bioinformatics and other NGS Bottlenecks?
18.00 DRINKS RECEPTION sponsored by Novogene
19.30 DINNER at Brasserie du Heysel


09.00 – 09.30: Prof Thierry Voet , KU Leuven & Sanger Institute – Single-cell (multi-omics) sequencing to study the biology of cellular heterogeneity in health and disease
09.30 – 10.00: Prof Bert Smeets, Clinical Genomics, Maastricht University – Mitochondria-related disease and toxicity: A tale of 2 genomes
10.00 – 10.30: TECHNOLOGY PRESENTATION by Dr Steve Glavas, 10x Genomics Long Range Sequencing, Haplotyping, de novo Diploid Genomes, and Single Cell RNA-seq
10.30 – 11.10: Coffee, Exhibition & Networking
11.10 – 11.40: Prof Brunhilde Wirth, Institute of Human Genetics, University of Cologne, Germany – NGS and what’s up next: The power of protective modifiers to unravel disease pathomechanism and develop therapies
11.40 – 12.10: Dr Alexandre Reymond, University of Lausanne, Switzerland – Genome architecture and disease: the 16p11.2 rearrangements example
12.10 – 12.40: TECHNOLOGY PRESENTATION by Dr Bjoern Textor, New England Biolabs A Novel Approach for Selective Enrichment of Custom Gene Targets for Oncology Research
12.40 – 13.50: Lunch, Exhibition & Networking
13.50 – 14.20: Dr Richard Redon, Inserm, University of Nantes, France – A genetic approach to sudden cardiac death
14.20 – 14.50: Dr Elzo De Wit, Netherlands Cancer Institute – The cohesin release factor WAPL controls chromatin loop extension
14.50 – 15.20: Dr Marcel Nelen, Genome Diagnostics Nijmegen – Developments in clinical sequencing
15.20 – 16.00: Coffee, Exhibition & Networking
16.00 – 16.30: Prof Michel Georges, Liege University, Lille – Informing about causality of variants, genes and microbes in IBD pathogenesis using NGS
16.30 – 17.00: Prof Philippe Froguel, Pasteur Institute, Lille – NGS and diabetes: facts and opportunities for precision medicine

This 2-day workshop was held on 14th & 15th November 2016 at Jette Campus, Vrije Universiteit Brussels. The two day workshop will be led by the experts from:

  • Genome Diagnostics Nijmegen
  • and BRIGHTcore – the Brussels Interuniversity Genomics Highthroughput core in collaboration with (IB)2 – Interuniversity Institute of Bioinformatics in Brussels.

The course was useful to those working the wet lab who want to learn about bioinformatics workflows so that they can begin to analyse data themselves or keep an overview of the analysis that their own bioinformatic colleagues are providing for them.


AGENDA – WORKSHOP 14th November By Genome Diagnostics Nijmegen

09.00 – 10.00: Registration and Coffee
10.00 – 10.30: Introduction to NGS (presentatin, Konny Neveling)
10.30 – 10.45: Explanation on filtering and annotation (Maartje van de Vorst)
10.45 – 12.15: Workshops NGS basic
12.15 – 13.15: Lunch
13.15 – 14.45: NGS interpretation part I
14.45 – 15.15: Coffee Break
15.15 – 16.45: NGS interpretation


9:30- 11:00: A practical approach for NGS variant interpretation (Highlander) – teacher: Raphaël Helaers – assistants: Julie Soblet & Dorien Daneels
11:00-11:30: Coffee Break
11:30 – 13:00: The future of NGS analysis (part I) Semi-automated variant classification (GeVaCT) – teacher: Dorien Daneels – assistants: Isel Grau & Sonia Van Dooren Analysing digenic inheritance (DIDA) – teacher: Tom Lenaerts – assistants: Dorien Daneels & Andrea Gazzo
13:00-14:00: Lunch
14:00 – 15:30: The future of NGS analysis (part II) Clinical phenotyping & genotype-phenotype correlation (CliniPhenome) – teacher: Dipankar Sengupta – assistants: Didier Croes & Satyam Kapoor Single amino acid variants: towards molecular phenotyping (Mutaframe and DEOGEN) – teacher: Wim Vranken – assistants: Daniele Raimondi & Ibrahim Tanyalcin
15:30 – 16:00: Coffee Break
16:00 – 17:30: A practical approach for analysis and interpretation of NGS cancer data (TCGA-biolink) – teacher: Antonio Colaprico – assistants: Gianluca Bontempi & Catharina Olsen


covaris-small1-2Covaris is the recognized industry leader for DNA fragmentation and Adaptive Focused Acoustics (AFA®) has become the gold standard for shearing DNA and RNA in Next-Generation Sequencing applications. Without introducing GC bias or thermal-induced damage, users can precisely and accurately fragment DNA and RNA to the 100-1500bp range with the microTUBE™, 2-5kb range with the miniTUBE™, and 6-20kb range with the g-TUBE™. Building on the superior capabilities of AFA, Covaris has developed truXTRAC™, which efficiently extracts nucleic acids from FFPE tissues. The highly simplified workflow ensures high yield extraction of nucleic acids and allows for the seamless integration into NGS and other molecular applications. By using AFA technology on Covaris instruments, scientists can achieve better amplificability of released nucleic acids in single and multi-sample formats. Additionally, the truChIP™ Chromatin Shearing Kits provide an optimized, flexible, and universal protocol for chromatin shearing on the high performance Focused-ultrasonicators, thus enabling the inclusion of truChIP Chromatin Shearing into any ChIP Protocol. The truXTRAC and truChIP kits bring the advantages of AFA and Focused-ultrasonication directly to the lab with increased sensitivity and reproducibility. With an installed base of more than 3,500 systems worldwide, the Covaris AFA process is extensively cited in peer-reviewed research articles on DNA fragmentation using all available NGS systems and is considered to be the gold standard for DNA shearing. Covaris Focused-ultrasonicators are recommended by all major sequencing platform providers, and are used by leading Genome Centers worldwide including: the Centre National de Génotypage (CNG), the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, the Broad Institute, and the Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI). For more information, please visit: www.covarisinc.com


omiciaOmicia is advancing genomics to the clinic. Omicia enables any clinical testing lab to develop a comprehensive genomic testing service and provide high quality clinical interpretation at scale. Unlike systems that were developed for research studies, our Opal Clinical™ informatics, interpretation and reporting platform combines an automated variant annotation and prioritization engine with a rules-based variant classification system to significantly improve the accuracy and turnaround time of clinical reporting.


10x10x Genomics meets the critical need for long range, structural and cellular information, with an innovative system that transforms short-read sequencing technologies. Our Chromium System supports comprehensive genomics and high-throughput single cell transcriptomics. It enables researchers to discover previously inaccessible genomic information at unprecedented scale, including phased structural variants, phased single nucleotide variants, and dynamic gene expression of individual cells—while leveraging their existing sequencing systems and workflows.


diagenodeDiagenode Corporation is a global Epigenetic company and Diagnostics assay manufacturer based in Liège, Belgium and Denville, NJ, USA. Diagenode offers the most comprehensive range of Epigenetic products in the world, amongst its product portfolio are the famous Bioruptor® Shearing devices, Premium® and Blueprint® antibodies, IP-Star® automated workstations and many reagents. From Diagenode’s founding in 2003 in Liège as a local Biotechnology startup, the company has expanded rapidly. Diagenode has opened its US branch in 2006 and developed a distribution and partnering network across the entire world with strong anchorages in Japan and other Asia-Pacific countries. Diagenode has been profitable since its creation. The company planned to develop extensively its range of innovative products in both the Epigenetics and Infectious diseases markets. In October 2013, Diagenode’s headquarters have moved into a brand new facility near to the Univeristy of Liège’s campus.


logo_egt_cmykEurogentec, part of Kaneka Corporation, is a leading supplier of trusted and innovative specialty products and custom services. Our Life Science Research, Diagnostic Services and GMP BioManufacturing Business Units (BU), support scientists involved in the Life Science research, biotechnology, diagnostic and pharmaceutical markets. Eurogentec is headquartered in the Liege Science Park (Belgium) and has subsidiaries in France, Germany, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and USA (AnaSpec Inc. and EGT North America). The Life Science Research BU provides innovative reagents, kits and consumables for Genomic and Proteomic applications such as Oligonucleotides, PCR/qPCR Kits & Reagents, custom and catalog peptides & antibodies (including the proprietary 28-day Speedy protocol). The In Vitro Diagnostics BU provides technical and project support for contract manufacturing of GMP oligonucleotides and Taq DNA polymerases for use in Molecular Diagnostic applications. Eurogentec also proposes the production of custom pre-dispensed assays in a GMP environment. Our GMP production facility and classified clean rooms in Belgium enable high quality materials for the in vitro Diagnostic community. The GMP BioManufacturing BU is a US FDA inspected full-service Contract Manufacturing Organization (CMO) that offers expertise in technology transfer, process development, scale-up and cGMP manufacturing of proteins, protein conjugates, plasmid DNA and bacterial vaccines for pre-clinical, clinical and commercial uses. As a one-stop shop, Eurogentec provides a complete gene to injectable service offering. Eurogentec has been GMP since 1994 and has developed over 85 different GMP biopharmaceuticals. The EGT Group currently employs around 325 people, including more than 40 PhDs.


bluebeeBluebee offers a cloud-based accelerated genomics analysis platform that facilitates fast and affordable data processing. Bluebee enables research and clinical labs to substantially reduce cost, complexity and throughput time of their data analysis and helps sequencing service providers as well as diagnostic test providers to effectively expand their offering and market reach. The highly secured platform offers scalable yet localized data processing and storage, while providing full control for configuration, sharing and collaboration. The combination of domain experts in the development and deployment of large scale mission-critical infrastructure, seasoned bioinformaticians and renowned academic researchers in high performance computing, led to the use of two disruptive technologies – cloud and HPC – combined to deliver a unique service.



BD is a global medical technology company that is advancing the world of health by improving medical discovery, diagnostics and the delivery of care. BD leads in patient and health care worker safety and the technologies that enable medical research and clinical laboratories. The company provides innovative solutions that help advance cellular studies and genomics, enhance the diagnosis of infectious disease and cancer, improve medication management, promote infection prevention, equip surgical and interventional procedures, optimize respiratory care and support the management of diabetes. The company partners with organizations around the world to address some of the most challenging global health issues. BD has more than 45,000 associates across 50 countries who work in close collaboration with customers and partners to help enhance outcomes, lower health care delivery costs, increase efficiencies, improve health care safety and expand access to health. For more information on BD, please visit www.bd.com.


pacbioPacBio is the leader in long-read sequencing and your partner in life science exploration. PacBio Sequencing Systems provide the most comprehensive view of genomes, transcriptomes, and epigenomes. PacBio® Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) Sequencing provides full access to genomic variation through unmatched read lengths, uniform coverage, and exceptional accuracy. With average read lengths greater than 10 kb, PacBio DNA sequencing data reveals previously hidden structural variants and produces direct variant phasing information across haplotype blocks, in both whole genome and targeted applications. With SMRT Sequencing Systems, scientists gain new insight into the genetic basis of disease heritability and a more comprehensive view of genetic variation and the genetic basis of cancer risk, disease biology, and differential outcomes.


aati-logoAdvanced Analytical Technologies Inc. (AATI) develops, manufactures and markets high-throughput, fully-automated nucleic acid and genetic analysis systems. The company’s products have both commercial and research applications and are designed to improve processes within the molecular diagnostics, pharmaceutical, life science, agricultural and biofuels industries. The company’s product portfolio includes instruments for the parallel analysis of biomolecules, DNA, RNA, genomic DNA, double-stranded DNA, gene editing (CRISPR/Cas9), pharmaceutical compounds and proteins using capillary electrophoresis (CE) with fluorescence detection or UV absorbance. The company’s flagship product, the Fragment Analyzer, is recognized as the best-in-class, multi-channel, automated fluorescence-based CE detection system for the simultaneous analysis of the quantity and quality of nucleic acids, including: dsDNA fragments, gDNA, NGS fragments and RNA (total and messenger) and microsatellites (SSR). Advanced Analytical Technologies, Inc. (AATI) simplifies complex genomics workflows to accelerate research and discovery in pharmaceuticals, life science, biofuels, biotechnology and healthcare. The company has facilities in Ames, Iowa, USA and Heidelberg, Germany. We support customers through a global network of distributors and support centers.


roche-logo1000px-2Roche Diagnostics offers the industry’s broadest range of diagnostic tests. Our pioneering technologies can detect risk of disease, give an accurate diagnosis, predict how disease may progress, and even help prevent disease. We enable the right treatment decision to be made at the first opportunity. To help patients be in control of their chronic conditions, we enable them and their physicians to monitor their treatment. By building successful partnerships with laboratories, we provide the fast and reliable results needed for life-changing decisions. As a leading solution provider in IVD testing, we support you as the one partner including any technologies we have in the centralized and decentralized settings, in molecular and tissue testing as well as automation and IT solutions. We have the power to move beyond diagnosis and reach a new phase of sustainable healthcare in disease prevention and management. And with our leading Pharmaceuticals and Diagnostics businesses under one roof, Roche is better positioned to deliver Personalised Healthcare than any other company. The more questions we answer, the more lives we save.


neb-logo-colour-small-300x129bioke-logoFounded in the mid-1970s as a collective of scientists committed to developing innovative products for the life sciences industry, New England Biolabs is now a recognized world leader in the discovery, development and commercialization of recombinant and native enzymes for genomic research. Created “by scientists for scientists”, NEB is renowned for consistently providing exceptional product quality and technical support. For over four decades, NEB has been shaping the landscape of bioscience research by discovering, developing and supporting superior research reagents and optimized enzymatic work flow solutions and is continuously expanding its product offerings into new areas including Next-Gen-Seq, Genome Editing, Proteomics and Cellular Imaging.


novogene-logoNovogene is a leading provider of genomic services and solutions with cutting edge NGS and bioinformatics expertise and one of the largest sequencing capacities in the world. Novogene utilizes scientific excellence, a commitment to customer service and unsurpassed data quality to help our clients realize their research goals in the rapidly evolving world of genomics. With over 1,000 employees, multiple locations around the world, 43 NGS related patents, and over 180 publications in top tier journal such as Nature and Science), the company has rapidly become a world-leader in NGS services. We help our customers achieve their objectives by offering: QUALITY: our informatics expertise and strict adherence to quality control enable us to offer an industry-leading Q30 guarantee that exceeds even Illumina’s own official Q30 guidelines. ANALYSIS: More than 40% of our staff being bioinformaticians, we give our customers “publication-ready data”. TECHNOLOGY: Using state-of-the-art Illumina systems (HiSeq X Ten, HiSeq 4000, HiSeq 2500, NextSeq 500, MiSeq) we select the most effective system for our customers’ needs. TURN-AROUND: We complete projects faster than local cores and the vast majority of service providers due to our scientific acumen (75% of our employees have advanced degrees) and NGS capacity.


genewiz_logo_color_300dpi-002-copyA full-service provider, GENEWIZ provides Sanger DNA sequencing, gene synthesis, molecular biology, high throughput/next generation sequencing, bioinformatics, and GLP regulatory services. GENEWIZ leads the way in providing superior data quality with unparalleled technical support to enable researchers around the world to advance their scientific discoveries faster than ever before. Our customers at top-tier pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and academic institutions, as well as cutting-edge start-ups, rely on GENEWIZ’s proprietary technologies for consistent, reliable, high-quality data, even on the most difficult projects.




REGISTRATION, EXHIBITION, COFFEE/LUNCH BREAKS will take place in the Forum & Agora area (Building R on the campus map above)   The LECTURES will take place in the Auditorium Brouwer (Building A on the map) ———————————————–


By Taxi

The Health Campus (which is part of Campus Jette) is located outside Brussels city centre (around 8 km north-west). The easiest way to reach it from Brussels city centre is by taxi. The cost should be around 10/15 EUR, but this may vary significantly depending on the traffic.

Once on the campus please follow the signs for NGS BENELUX and also take a look at the campus map above for more details.

By car

Please note that there are roadworks around VUB as a new tram line is being constructed. You can find more information about the roadworks HERE.

Take exit 9 on the Brussels Ring (R0); then follow the signs for UZ Brussel. For detailed or alternative routes, please consult Google Maps. Once you arrive on the campus please follow the signs labelled NGS BENELUX and take a look at the campus map above for more details


Payable parking is available at UZ Brussel for workshop & conference attendees. Please use UZ Brussel parking 1 in the Dikke Beuklaan (on map: between the Firestation & UZ-G building). Parking rates can be found HERE.

By public transport
There are direct buses from Brussels North train station to VUB/UZ Brussels. Number 14 and 245 for example run every 20 minutes and the journey takes around 40 minutes. From Brussels South train station you can take the metro to Simonis and continue the journey by bus (number 13 and 14). At the request of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, the MIVB/STIB has drawn up a reachability sheet for both campuses of the university. These sheets provide an overview of the different options for reaching the campuses using the Brussels public transport company. You can plan your journey by train with the route planner of the NMBS/SNCB (www.belgianrail.be) or through www.delijn.be.

More information on the use of public transportation can be found HERE.

By train

There are 3 railway stations in Brussels: Brussels South (Brussel-Zuid, in Flemish or Bruxelles-Midi in French), Brussels Central and Brussels North (Brussel-Noord in Flemish or Bruxelles-Nord in French). From any of these stations the easiest way to travel to the conference venue would be by taxi.


By air
Brussels National Airport is the main national airport in Belgium and hosts flights from all major airline companies. Some low cost airlines like EasyJet and Ryanair fly here (to and from countries like Italy, Ireland and Spain), but companies like Wizzair and Ryanair mostly fly to Brussels South Charleroi Airport. Brussels Airport is located about twenty minutes outside of the city centre. From Brussels Airport, the best way to get to the city centre is to take the train. The railway station is located on the underground floor of the airport. A ticket to Brussels’ Central Train Station will cost you €7,5, the trip will take merely 15 minutes. You can by your ticket at one of the station’s ticket vending machines, which you will find located near the escalators to go to the platforms.
A taxi from Brussels Airport to the city centre costs about €50.
From Brussels South Charleroi Airport to the city centre there is a shuttle bus to Brussels Midi Train Station (‘Brussel-Zuid’/’Bruxelles-Midi’). It costs €14 and takes about 1 hour. You can buy the ticket at the bus information desk inside the main airport building.
From the Midi Train Station, you will find you have many possibilities to continue your route. The heart of the city, located by the ‘Bourse/Beurs’, is one short tram ride (line 3 or 4) away. A transit ticket (‘jump ticket’) for public transport costs €2 and gives you unlimited access to all the trams, buses and metros during one hour. To find your way around Brussels, you can consult the Mobility page (www.my.vub.ac.be/en/mobility), which contains information on public transport, biking, walking and driving.

NGS 2016 Benelux

Workshop: 14th & 15th November
Conference: 16th – 17th November

Campus Erasme, Brussels

Gold Sponsor




Silver Sponsor





Exhibitors & Sponsors

Advanced Analytical



Technology Presentation



Drinks Reception





November 14, 2016
November 15, 2016

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