Catawba, Eremid open Bill and Shari Graham Genomics Laboratory at NC Research Campus

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 6, 2022

Catawba News Service

KANNAPOLIS — Catawba College and Eremid Genomic Services are opening the Bill and Shari Graham Genomics Laboratory specializing in genomic sequencing at facilities on the N.C. Research Campus in Kannapolis.

“The Graham Genomics Lab is an example of the exceptional liberal arts education offered at Catawba College,” said Catawba President David P. Nelson in a news release. “Students will engage in vital research, gaining broad and deep knowledge in a particular field, enabling them to put that knowledge to work for the common good.”

Eremid’s Dr. Francisco Camacho, director of the Graham Genomics Lab and a professor affiliate of Catawba, will offer a unique undergraduate genomics course focusing on next-generation DNA sequencing, beginning in spring 2023. Students will learn clinical laboratory procedures and develop the hands-on skills to perform the most challenging laboratory techniques. The Graham Genomics Lab will offer the only undergraduate NGS training in the United States and, combined with an academic-private partnership, will equip Catawba College students with real-world skills in the growing genomics arena.

“Training in these advanced genomics techniques is usually only available to graduate students,” said Dr. Constance Rogers Lowery, provost and professor of biology at Catawba. “It is exciting that training Catawba College’s undergraduates will be the focus of the laboratory. A unique element of this collaboration, is giving our students a window into the business side of science, along with exposing them to additional career pathways in science as a profession.”

The Graham Genomics Lab will boast next generation sequencing platforms from leading technology providers, including Illumina and Pacific Biosystems. Catawba students will acquire hands-on skills as they conduct research projects and work with innovative sequencing equipment. They will participate in multi-disciplinary, multi-platform research from concept through to data delivery and interpretation. This experience will provide them with a distinct advantage as they enter their careers and graduate programs.

“We are thrilled to partner with Catawba College in providing this one-of-a-kind lab that will enable students to gain experience that will provide them a path into a truly world-changing area of research,” Camacho said. “Genomics is the wave of the future, and Eremid’s collaboration with Catawba College will provide the guidance for students to ride new cutting-edge technology and clinically relevant training to master that future.”

“Next generation sequencing is really this generation’s technology, a launching pad for asking and answering new questions about human health and the environment,” said Dr. Jay Bolin, dean of Natural Sciences and associate professor of Biology at Catawba. “I’m excited for our students and faculty to engage in these platforms.”

Eremid is a genomics contract research organization that focuses on science that influences human health and longevity. The company offers expertise in human health, nutrition and agbiotech, delivering research-enhancing data. Eremid seeks to meet the increasing demands for higher data quality, reliability and accuracy in genomics research.

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