DAY 1 –

Biotexcel would like to thank all our partners, sponsors and attendees to the NGS 2014 Dundee Conference which concluded on Thursday 8th May at 4.40 pm.  Lets look at how Day 1 went and then I will try and post about the “goings on” on the evening of Day 1 and the sessions on Day 2 in separate postings.

The meeting was a great success and the attendees only had good things to say.  Well, apart from the “Rock Salmon” but we won’t be using that catering company again and that is a promise to you all!  At least Professor Nikolai Zhelev the chairman of the local organizing committee didn’t disappoint on the night with entertainment from the Romanian Latin Music band and the Turkish Belly dancing star and the lessons which everyone appreciated.  We’ll try to find a corner on the website to put the photos up…..Thanks Nikolai!

Nikolai opened the meeting and introduced us to Mark Batho, Vice-Principal of Abertay University who told us more about the university and its multidisciplinary approach to research.

Everyone enjoyed the scientific content of the conference with the favourite segment being the panel debate on NGS data storage vs. resequencing of DNA samples kept in storage.  There were some very contrasting views thanks to the great line up on the panel (Darren Grafham, Austin Diamond, Paul Westwood and Kim Brugger).   In the end the conclusion was that not all clinical data needs to be stored but the vast amount of NGS data still requires solutions for storage.  Our platinum sponsor Arkivum were very happy to hear that I am sure!

Another favourite with attendees was the great keynote presentation from Paul Westwood who gave a very comprehensive overview of the Scottish clinical genetics cluster and their strategies for implementing all aspects of NGS related diagnostics.  The one recurring theme in Paul’s presentation was the requirement for commercial and other solutions that will facilitate this implementation.  I am sure the commercial providers at our meeting must have been listening carefully to this talk :-).

Kevin Blighe describe the workflows that he has been instrumental in implementing at the Sheffield Clinical Genetics facility and he had lots of questions from the resident Bioinformatician experts such as Kim Brugger, Chris Cole and Martin Taylor – I am sure these guys disappeared off early to have a Bioinformaticians liaison at the local pub till the “wee” hours of the morning.  At least I heard the rumours.

The Technology Workshops on Day 1 consisted of Jim Cook CEO of Arkivum telling us about their successful Genomic England bid to work on better tools for Metadata.  Jim engaged in a two way discussion with the audience to get their take on what the NGS users need from metadata.  He left an open invitation to clinical and research NGS users to get in touch to collaborate with Arkivum.

Paul Denny, representing Biotexcel gave an overview of Dundee and NGS! And he got the audience talking to each other so that really kicked off the networking atmosphere.  Many Thanks Paul.

Louisa Ludbrook told us about their QC standards for clinical NGS and introduced us to Kim Brugger who completed the Horizon Discovery workshop by telling us about the latest NEQAS scheme.

Bas Vrolling our good friend from the Netherlands based Bioinformatics company BioProdict told us about their 3DM software that helps NGS researchers to discover the phenotypic protein level affects of DNA variants.  Bas also helped chair a session on Day 2 so thanks Bas!

 Stay tuned as I will describe more about the Lord Provost’s ceremony and the entertainment on the evening of Day 1 in my next posting and then about Day 2 in a following one.

Ed Quazi

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