BGI Opens Genome Research Center in Europe
News Feb 10, 2012
This research center is about 1,200 square meters and equipped with 10 Illumina HiSeq 2000 sequencers. The center aims to establish collaborations to better accelerate the innovation and development of genomics research and applications in health care, agriculture, bioenergy and other related areas in Europe.
The opening ceremony of the genome research center was held at the Bio-center in University of Copenhagen today. It was attended by Pia Olsen Dyhr, Minister of Trade and Investments, Mr. Gu Hui, Charge d’affaire from Chinese Embassy, Professor Huanming Yang, Co-founder and Chairman of BGI, Professor Thomas Bjørnholm, Vice Chancellor of University of Copenhagen and approximately 120 guests from leading European research centers, universities and biotech industries.
Ning Li, Director of BGI Europe, welcomed the guests and expressed his appreciation to friends and supporters who have contributed to the successful opening of the Genome Research Center in COBIS. He noted, “Our primary mission of this research center is to provide BGI´s world-class expertise and infrastructure for the European researchers in genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics and other related areas. The opening of the Genome Research Center will add immense value on science advancement and application for both BGI Europe and Denmark. I believe this center also will strive to cultivate joint collaborations between China and Europe.”
Minister Pia Olsen Dyhr was delighted to see the success of this event, and she said, “I am pleased that BGI has invested in Denmark and thereby contributed to creating new jobs here. We need to further increase cooperation with China, which is why I later this month will be visiting China. It is very positive that foreign investors like BGI find Denmark attractive. I hope that the presence by organization like BGI will help open the eyes to other foreign investors, especially Chinese investors.”
Vice Chancellor Thomas Bjørnholm from University of Copenhagen is also pleased to see the genome research center settling at Copenhagen. He said, “According to Chinese astrology, we entered the year of the dragon just a few weeks ago. When the dragon arrives, it means that big things occur. Now BGI’s first European genome research center is born, and we can expect something big. Both the facilities and the Danish and international scientists behind the center are state-of-the-art. The vision is to create the best facilities in the fields of genomics and bioinformatics, so that we have an opportunity to utilize knowledge on genomics and better Denmark’s possibilities of preventing and curing diseases. We hope that it will be possible, for example, to develop a vaccine against cancer.”
BGI Chairman Huanming Yang has expressed his appreciation to the Danish government and the scientific partner in Denmark. He said, “Nothing would have been made possible by BGI without the full understanding, continuous encouragement and firm support from our supervisors, colleagues and friends in both the academic and industrial communities in Denmark since the very beginning until now. BGI’s leaders and staff have been successively educated and trained in Denmark from the past to present. It is the strong tie between BGI and Denmark both culturally and scientifically which led BGI’s choice to establish the first European Genome Research Center of BGI in Copenhagen, Denmark.”
Animal venoms are the subject of study at research center based at the Butantan Institute in São Paulo. But in this case, the idea is not to find antidotes, but rather to use the properties of the venoms themselves to identify molecular targets of diseases and, armed with that knowledge, develop new compounds that can be used as medicines.