Towards $1000 Human Genome Sequencing Using Force Spectroscopy

Alex Bijamov, Ph.D. Candidate and Research-In-Progress Winner, Thayer School of Engineering

Friday, May 28, 2010

Spanos Auditorium

This seminar is part of the Jones Seminars on Science, Technology, and Society series, and is the first half of a two-part seminar by research-in-progress winners. See part two.

In recent years tremendous scientific effort has been applied to the advancement of technologies for ultra-high-throughput DNA sequencing. The ability to produce fast, accurate, and cheap human genome readouts is essential for development of future personalized medicine and further advances in genetics. Some improvements over conventional sequencing methods (Sanger sequencing, pyrosequencing) are seen in transition towards single molecule and label-free techniques. This talk will overview the DNA sequencing technologies in general, and particular attention will be given to force spectroscopy using magnetic tweezers. This technique is based on the concepts of Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence Microscopy, single molecule manipulation, and micro-fluidics to achieve single molecule sequencing in massively-parallel format. The current developments and challenges of the technology will be discussed.

About the Speaker

Alex Bijamov is a third year Ph.D. student in the electromagnetic sensing group at Thayer School of Engineering. He received the B.S. degree in Physics from Tbilisi State University (Republic of Georgia) in 2006. In 2002 Alex was awarded bronze and gold medals at the third Asian and 33rd International Physics Olympiads in Singapore and Indonesia, respectively. His research interests are electromagnetic sensing and computer simulations for biomedical and environmental applications, including DNA sequencing, UXO discrimination and chiral, nano-, and meta-materials.