Menzies Weekly Seminar - “Metagenomics of paediatric respiratory samples: is the MinION up to the task?”

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Presenter:  Dr Tegan Harris

Date: Mar 05, 2019

Time: 12:00pm to 12:30pm

Contact person:  Menzies Communications Unit
T: (08) 8946 8658

Location:  Auditorium | John Mathews Building (Bldg 58), Royal Darwin Hospital Campus (also available on WebEx)

Abstract: We are in the ‘omics era of microbiology. When it comes to understanding disease pathogenesis, and informing treatment and preventive interventions, analysis of whole specimens – to detect all pathogens (and interactions), virulence, and antibiotic resistance determinants – is essential.

This is now possible through metagenomic approaches (whole specimen DNA analysis). Point-of-care application of whole-genome sequencing (WGS) technologies to clinical samples in an infectious disease setting has the potential to provide rapid identification of the pathogen(s), resistome monitoring, and chronic infection monitoring.

One promising platform is the Oxford Nanopore Technologies MinION, a WGS device smaller than a cell phone that can be run via a laptop USB port. The MinION overcomes one of the main hurdles associated with clinical diagnostic application of WGS – the device is portable and doesn’t require additional infrastructure that is common to other WGS technologies (e.g. Illumina, PacBio).

In this presentation, Tegan will discuss findings from her Menzies Small Grant-funded project investigating the application of MinION for sequencing paediatric respiratory samples, a challenge given these specimens have a low biomass, of which a high proportion is Human.

Biography: Tegan is a Senior research officer and a molecular microbiologist by trade. Read more on our website.

Next Tuesday Seminar on March 12: Associate Professor Nagel (MBBS FRANZCP PhD) – “Exploring the ‘e’ in mental health: new tools - new rules?”

  • The Menzies seminars are free of charge and open to the general public
  • The presentations will be 20 minutes with 10 minutes for questions.
  • Information about the roster for presentations can be obtained from the communications team on 8946 8658 or
  • Please feel free to forward this notice to your colleagues and associates
PDF icon Menzies Weekly Seminar - Dr Tegan Harris