University of Arizona gains new tool for childhood disease research

The University of Arizona has received a whole-genome sequencer device worth $1.3 million for...
The University of Arizona has received a whole-genome sequencer device worth $1.3 million for their childhood diseases research center.(WILX)
Published: Dec. 7, 2022 at 11:17 AM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TUCSON, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - The University of Arizona has received a $1.3 million whole-genome sequencer machine for their Steele Children’s Research Center, a device that will help research the possible earlier diagnosis of childhood diseases.

Using this new device, UArizona researchers are currently looking for a genetic biomarker for children’s postinfectious autoimmune encephalopathy, a condition that affects the brain and can lead to changes in neurologic function, mood and behavior.

“This expansion of the PANDA (People Acting Now Discover Answers) Core will also benefit basic and translational scientists by providing local access to this state-of-the-art sequencing technology for demanding projects requiring detailed analysis of the microbiota, understanding the genetics and genomics at the single cell level, and many other approaches,” said Daniel Laubitz, PhD, director of the PANDA Core.

The sequencer allows researchers and physician-scientists to study entire genomes, identify DNA changes and more that could open up possibilities about an early diagnosis and treatment of pediatric diseases. Thanks to the device, researchers can sequence 48 human genomes in less than 40 hours at only a portion of the cost, whereas before, sequencing human genomes cost thousands of dollars and months of time to complete.

PANDA has been operating since 1999 as part of the Steele Children’s Research Center. You can learn more about the organization here.