The program was open to academic, clinical and industrial researchers and was awarded based on research proposals best demonstrating potential innovative applications of next generation sequencing technology to advancing human health care.
Two winning teams were chosen; Ryan Hernandez and Nicolas Strauli won for their proposal, “Intra-patient coevolution between HIV and the adaptive immune system.” Dr. Hernandez is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco. Nicolas Strauli is a graduate student working with Dr. Hernandez. Jianzhong Hu won for his proposal, “Association of Meconium Microbiome to Preterm Birth and Maternal Environment”. Dr. Hu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, NY.
About the award, Dr. Hernandez said: "This award will enable us to create a remarkable dataset that will yield insights into the problem of HIV's evasion of the adaptive immune system. By using next-generation sequencing, we have the potential to detail all of the steps taken by HIV and our immune system during the evolutionary dance that they play over the course of long-term infections. “
About the impact this award will have on his work, Dr. Hu said, “…this award will allow us to determine the role of the microbiome in preterm birth. By also assessing the interaction between the microbiome and clinical and environmental factors, we may begin to detect microbial predictors affecting health in later childhood development.”
The awards include sample sequencing and bioinformatics analysis services.
"We were extremely pleased with the quality of proposals for applications of next-gen sequencing and genomics to important problems in human health,” said Wei Zhou, Centrillion’s President and CEO. “Choosing the winners was a difficult decision and we wish we could support all of the research proposals.”