Catawba College and Eremid open genomics lab to offer undergrad training

genome DNA

Catawba College and Eremid Genomic Services, LLC, a genomics contract research provider, are opening the Bill and Shari Graham Genomics Laboratory specializing in genomic sequencing at Eremid’s facilities on the North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC) in Kannapolis, North Carolina.

“The Graham Genomics Lab is an example of the exceptional liberal arts education offered at Catawba College,” said Catawba President David P. Nelson. 

“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 Francisco Camacho, director of the Graham Genomics Lab, and Professor Affiliate of Catawba College, will offer a undergraduate genomics course focusing on next-generation DNA sequencing (NGS), beginning in spring 2023. 

Only U.S. NGS undergrad training

Students will learn clinical laboratory procedures and develop the hands-on skills to perform laboratory techniques.  The Graham Genomics Lab will offer the only undergraduate NGS training in the U.S. 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 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.”

Research participation

The Graham Genomics Lab will have 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 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.”

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