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Next Generation Sequencing Competence Network (NGS-CN) for advancing scientific excellence and capacity at German universities

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The Next Generation Sequencing Competence Network (NGS-CN) is a Deutsche Forschungsge-meinschaft (DFG) funded initiative that is comprised of four NGS Competence Centers (NGS-CCs), including the West German Genome Center(WGGC), a collaboration led by the University of Cologne that also involves the Universities of Bonn and Düsseldorf; the NGS Competence Center Tübingen (NGS-CCT) at the University of Tübingen; the Dresden-Concept Genome Center (D-CGC) at the Technical University Dresden; and the Competence Center for Genomic Analysis Kiel (CC-GA-K) at the University of Kiel.

The NGS-CN has a main administrative body called the Central Coordination Unit (CCU) represented by Prof. Joachim Schultze (speaker), and Dr. Mariam L. Sharaf Hastings (officer). The CCU is tasked with harmonizing and facilitating consulting and networking thought the NGS-CN in the areas of Bioinformatics, Genomics, and High Throughput Computing. The office was opened in January 2019 on the first floor of the Life and Medical Science Institute (LIMES) at the University of Bonn.


NGS will continue to be a key technology in the life and medical sciences. In view of the ever-expanding NGS landscape, the networking-focused approach of the NGS-CN represents an optimal strategy in terms of developing, advancing, and providing this essential technology. By following the model of similar networks elsewhere (such as the Harvard Cancer Center that unites five academic medical centers and two Harvard schools, or the Broad Institute focusing on genome research at the international level), it is hoped that the NGS-CN will increase the international visibility of the participating German universities and bring a very strong network structure for genome research to Germany’s scientific landscape.

 

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