Podcasts

Interviews with the leading genomics scientists of our day

Genomics Podcasts

Hear directly from the people whose work in genomics is shaping the way we think about science and our world. Listen as leading scientists discuss the impact of genomics with the Illumina Scientific Affairs team. Download or subscribe to our recurring podcasts.

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Episode 55: Genomics and Feeding a Hungry World
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 22:32

Agriculture has sustained and enhanced human life for thousands of years, but a changing environment and expanding population is increasing demand for more productive and more sustainable farming. Listen to Dr. Andrzej Kilian of Diversity Arrays Technology describe how NGS-based genotyping is helping to develop more sustainable agriculture practices.

Episode 54: If tumors could talk
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 21:03

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death around the world, and 38% people will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives. Listen to Dr. Ramanuj DasGupta and Dr. Shumei Chia of the Genome Institute of Singapore describe how patient-derived tumor models and NGS can combine to offer new insights in precision oncology.

Episode 53: NGS and New Frontiers in Infectious Disease
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 21:51

Sepsis is a serious medical condition typically caused by a bloodstream infection. The World Health Organization estimates that sepsis affects 30 million people worldwide every year, leading to 6 million deaths. Listen to Jean-François Brepson of PathoQuest discuss the challenges in infectious disease diagnostics and how NGS technology can improve pathogen detection and antibiotic stewardship.

Episode 52: DNA Stories of Australia’s First Peoples
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 22:13

To ensure global scientific benefit from genomics, we need a better understanding of human genetic diversity, yet some communities remain underrepresented in genetics studies. Listen to Professor Simon Easteal of the Australian National University explain how studying DNA in collaboration with Indigenous Australian communities can improve the health and well-being of Australia's First Peoples.

Episode 51: NGS Improves In Vitro Fertilization
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 22:11

The average risk of miscarriage in a healthy woman is 10-25%, and risk increases with increasing maternal age. In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a set of technologies that can be used to overcome female or male infertility. Listen to Dr. Mark Bowman of Genea explain the science and technology behind IVF, and how next-generation sequencing can improve IVF through preimplantation genetic testing.

Episode 50: Genetic Screening and Inherited Disorders
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 21:20

Genetic carrier screening is used to identify recessive mutations linked to genetic disorders. It can be performed for women and men who want to know if their future children might be at risk for genetic diseases. Listen to Zoe Milgrom of Eugene Labs discuss the technology and genetic counseling behind carrier screening.

Episode 49: Sequencing the Cancer Epigenome
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 24:19

The epigenome is the chemicals and proteins that bind DNA and regulate gene expression. Gene regulation, also called epigenetics, is critical for diseases like cancer. Dr. Susan Clark is Research Director of Genomics at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research. She’s an expert in the genomics of DNA methylation, and she joins me to discuss the role of epigenetics in human biology and cancer.

Episode 48: Genomics and Tiger Conservation in Nepal
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 25:03

Tigers are apex predators in the wild and vital to maintaining biodiversity, but fewer than 3,000 tigers remain in areas of southeast Asia. Dr. Dibesh Karamcharya is Executive Director of the Center for Molecular Dynamics Nepal, and he joins me to explain how the Nepal Tiger Genome Project is helping scientists to better understand these amazing animals and to aid in their conservation.

Episode 47: Escape from Limbo Land
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 20:58

Parents of children who suffer from a rare disease can sometimes find it difficult to find a diagnosis, sometimes spending years living in a diagnostic limbo land. Heather Renton is the executive officer of Syndromes Without A Name (SWAN) Australia, and she joined me to discuss her daughter’s rare disease and the impact of NGS-based testing on her and her family.

Episode 46: Unravelling the Mystery of Autoimmunity
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 23:47

The immune system is skilled at determining friend from foe. But, our immune systems can sometimes turn against us, leading to autoimmune disease. Dr. Carola Vinuesa is Professor of Immunology at the Australian National University, and she joins me to discuss how NGS can unravel the complex interaction of cells and molecules that regulate antibody response and autoimmunity.

Episode 45: Single Cell Omics and Cellular Immunology
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 27:33

NGS-based single cell genomics techniques can characterize the genetic material of millions of individual cells isolated from bulk tissues. These techniques have revolutionized our understanding of the type and nature of cells that exist in our bodies. Dr. Shalin Naik of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research joined me to discuss his use of single cell omics to understand the immune system.

Episode 44: Neglected Diseases and the Impact of NGS
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 25:50

Neglected tropical diseases primarily impact the world’s poor, and more than 1 billion people currently suffer from one of these neglected diseases. Professor Warwick Grant of La Trobe University joined me to discuss how genomics is being used to maximize the impact of treatment for river blindness, a neglected disease that affects as many as 35 million people in Africa.

Episode 43: Rare Disease and the Diagnostic Odyssey
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 24:33

Rare diseases affect millions of people around the world. Dr. Matt Might is Professor and Director of the Hugh Kaul Precision Medicine Institute at the University of Alabama Birmingham. His son, Bertrand, was the first person to be diagnosed with NGLY1 deficiency, an ultra-rare disorder. Matt joined me to discuss Bertrand’s diagnostic odyssey and the impact of genomics on rare disease research.

Episode 42: Finding Bad Bugs with NGS
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 30:42

At the recent European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) conference, I talked with microbiology experts employing next-generation sequencing (NGS) in clinical microbiology. Dr. Agathe Jouet of Genoscreen and Dr. Christophe Rodriguez of University Hospital Henri-Mondor joined me to discuss amplicon and shotgun sequencing to help diagnose infectious diseases.

Episode 41: Genetics of Breast Cancer
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 22:33

An average risk woman in the US has about a 1 in 8 chance of developing breast cancer. Breast tumors are genetically heterogeneous and can be classified into subtypes based on patterns of gene expression, DNA methylation, nucleotide substitutions and genomic rearrangements. Dr. Åke Borg is Professor of Oncology and Pathology at Lund University, and he joined me to discuss the genetics of breast cancer.

Episode 40: Next Generation Science Education
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 26:29

Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) industries need creative and innovative employees now and into the future. Randy Schregardus is Student Programs Manager at the Van Andel Education Institute (vaei.vai.org), and he joined me to discuss advances in K-12 science education, the next generation science standards, and innovative science education programs at VAEI.

Episode 39: Ancient DNA and Human History
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 30:21

Who am I, and where do I come from? We’re all interested in these fundamental human questions. Recently, genomic analysis of ancient human DNA has refined our understanding of human history and biology. Dr. Eske Willerslev of the Universities of Cambridge and Copenhagen joins me for a fascinating discussion about ancient DNA, human biology, and human history.

Episode 38: The Magic of Stem Cells and Embryogenesis
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 20:49

We all start life as a single egg cell, but after fertilization we grow into a large organism containing about 40 trillion diverse and specialized cells. Embryogenesis is the developmental process by which an embryo forms and develops, and it’s enabled by stem cells. Dr. Amy Ralston of Michigan State University joins me to talk about genomics, stem cells, and embryogenesis.

Episode 37: Immune Cells and Their Search for Energy
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 29:01

Metabolic changes in immune cells can alter immune system biology. So, understanding how immune cells get energy is important for understanding immune. Drs. Connie Krawczyk and Rusty Jones of the Van Andel Research Institute (vari.vai.org) talk about omics technologies for studying immunometabolism. To learn more about the Metabolic and Nutritional Programming team visit russelljoneslab.vai.org.

Episode 36: Environmental and Societal Impact of Microbes
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 20:46

Our biggest environmental challenges ultimately relate to microbes, so studying microbes in nature is important for understanding the health of our planet. Dr. James Tiedje is Distinguished Professor and Director of the Center for Microbial Ecology at Michigan State University. He joins me to discuss the use of genomics to better understand microbial functions in their environment.

Episode 35: Genomics 2018 ─ Looking Back and Looking Ahead
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 25:14

2018 was an awesome year for genomics and genomics research. In this special compilation episode, I’ll share some of our 2018 podcast highlights and future predictions for genomics – where we were in 2018, and where we’re going in 2019 and beyond.

Episode 34: Estonia ─ A Model for Precision Healthcare
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 24:48

Dr. Tõnu Esko is Deputy Director of Research at the Estonian Biobank of the University of Tartu. He joins me to talk about the Estonian Biobank and to explain how Estonia aims to create a national system to enable precision healthcare through genomic profiling.

Episode 33: RNA Sequencing ─ a Cell Biology Tool
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 26:40

Dr. Joshua Weiner is Professor of Biology at the University of Iowa and Associate Director of the Iowa Neuroscience Institute. His lab uses a wide range of molecular and cell biology techniques to study the brain. Josh is a cell biologist by training, but he joins me to share his experiences on recently incorporating next-generation sequencing, or NGS, to complement his cell biology work.

Episode 32: Genome Editing ─ CRISPR-Cas9 and Beyond
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 27:20

The CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing system is enabling scientists to make specific DNA changes in the genomes of plants and animals and has the potential to greatly impact our world. Dr. Sam Sternberg, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at Columbia University, joins me to discuss the biology and impact of CRISPR and genome editing.

Episode 31: Noninvasive Prenatal Testing ─ NIPT
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 37:24

In noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT), a maternal blood sample provides maternal DNA as well as DNA from the pregnancy to screen prenatal chromosomal abnormalities using next-generation sequencing, or NGS. Dr. Ronald J. Wapner, Vice Chair of Research in Obstetrics and Gynecology for Columbia University, joins me to share his perspective on prenatal screening and NIPT.

Episode 30: Genomics of Long-Term Memory
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 23:57

Long-term memories can last from minutes to a lifetime, and they are associated with changes in synaptic activity and formation of neuronal circuits in the brain. Dr. Ted Abel is Professor at the University of Iowa and Director of the Iowa Neuroscience Institute. Ted joins me to discuss the transcriptional and epigenetic changes that are also associated with long-term memory.

Episode 29: Genome Assembly – A Genomic Jigsaw Puzzle
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 19:11

Sequencing a human genome requires 300 billion bases of DNA sequence, all of which need to be assembled – like a giant genomic jigsaw puzzle. Dr. Aleksey Zimin is Associate Research Scientist at Johns Hopkins University, and he joins me to discuss whole genome sequencing and assembly. He also discusses a novel method for creating phased genome assemblies.

Episode 28: Genetics of Deafness and Hearing Loss
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 20:55

Hereditary deafness is a relatively common disorder that affects about 1 in 1000 newborns. Dr. Richard J. Smith is Professor of Otolaryngology at the University of Iowa, and he joins me to discuss the genetic basis of deafness. He also discusses the development of genomic tools to aid in genetic testing of heritable forms of hearing loss.

Episode 27: Genetics of Autism and Psychiatric Disorders
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 21:25

Autism is a complex psychiatric disorder that affects 1 in 59 children in the United States. Dr. Jacob Michaelson is Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Iowa and uses genomic and computational techniques to study autism and other psychiatric disorders. He joins me to discuss the genetics of autism and (sparkforautism.org).

Episode 26: Genomics and Preimplantation Genetic Screening
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 22:18

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a reproductive technology used to overcome infertility, an inability to become pregnant that affects 1 in 6 couples. Dr. Nathan Treff is Chief Science Officer of Genomic Prediction in North Brunswick, New Jersey. He discusses the technology behind preimplantation genetic screening (PGS), a genetic test that may improve IVF success rates.

Episode 25: Large Scale Genetic Risk Profiling in Dementia
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 24:35

Neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by the death of brain tissues. The causes are unknown, and no effective therapies are available. These diseases can lead to dementia, a medical and economic challenge for society. The UK Dementia Research Institute and Illumina recently hosted a panel of experts to discuss the genetics of dementia, and we feature highlights in this episode.

Episode 24: Eczema and the Human Skin Microbiome
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 18:50

Atopic dermatitis (eczema) is a skin inflammation disorder that affects nearly 20% of people. The causes are unknown, but it has been associated with changes in the human skin microbiome. Dr. Julie Segre is Chief of the Translational and Functional Genomics Branch at the NHGRI, in Bethesda, MD. She discusses how NGS is used to study the human skin microbiome and eczema.

Episode 23: Using Genetics to Predict Heart Attack Risk
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 21:32

Familial hypercholesterolemia is a genetic disorder leading to elevated cholesterol and early cardiovascular disease. Globally, about 1 in 250 people are affected, but only 10% have been diagnosed. Dr. Guillaume Paré is Professor of Medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. He discusses how genetics can help identify people at risk of heart attack.

Episode 22: Out of Africa - Genetics of the African Diaspora
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 19:13

African populations migrated out of Africa between the 15th and 19th centuries. Understanding the genetics of this African diaspora is providing important insights in human history, health, and disease - especially in populations of African ancestry. Dr. Charles Rotimi of the NHGRI in Bethesda, MD, discusses his research in the genomics of the African diaspora.

Episode 21: Cancer Epigenomics - A Cacophony of Gene Expression
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 18:50

Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally. Cancer is driven by DNA sequence errors in genes, or by gene expression changes without DNA sequence errors. This latter process is called epigenetics, and we discuss epigenetics and epigenomics of cancer with Dr. Peter Scacheri, Professor of Genetics and Genome Sciences at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH.

Episode 20: Rare Genes and Rare Diseases
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 17:24

Up to 30 million Americans and 30 million Europeans are currently living with a rare disease. Most are caused by changes in genes but identifying these causative gene sequences can be extremely difficult. Dr. Charis Eng, Chair of Cancer Genomic Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, discusses the genomics of Cowden's Syndrome, cancer risk, and precision medicine.

Episode 19: NHGRI's 2020 Vision for Genomics
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 30:19

The National Human Genome Research Institute, or NHGRI, has launched a new round of strategic planning to establish a 2020 vision for genomics. In a celebration of National DNA Day 2018, Dr. Eric Green, the Director of the NHGRI, joins us for a discussion of the Human Genome Project, the state of genomics today, and where genomics is likely headed in the future.

Episode 18: Genetics of Children's Complex Diseases - From GWAS to NGS
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 19:04

Complex diseases are associated with genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. Genome-wide association studies, or GWAS, use arrays to identify DNA variants associated with traits or diseases. Professors Struan Grant and Andrew Wells of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia discuss how they use NGS to map variants to causal genes.

Episode 17: Genomics of Endosymbiosis - Cells Within Cells
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 17:45

Eukaryotic cells and their membrane bound organelles evolved from the uptake of a prokaryotic cell into another cell - a process called endosymbiosis. Professors Bebashish Bhattacharya and Dana Price of Rutgers University discuss how single-cell genomics of algae can help unravel the mystery of endosymbiosis and its impact on our health and the environment.

Episode 16: Brain on Fire - Genomics of Neuroinflammation
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 18:29

Encephalitis is a brain inflammation that affects 4 million people worldwide. Although caused by infection or by autoimmunity, 50% of cases are never explained. Dr. Michael R. Wilson is Assistant Professor of Neurology at the University of California San Francisco. He discusses how genomics can help us understand the causes of brain inflammation.

Episode 15: Human Gut Microbiome - Beneficial Bacteria
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 17:35

The human gut microbiome includes trillions of microbes that are important in health and disease. Genomics has revolutionized our knowledge of human gut microbial complexity. Dr. Ami Bhatt is Professor of Medicine and Genetics at Stanford University. She and her PhD student, Jessica Ribado, discuss how the human gut microbiome impacts human health.

Episode 14: Single-Cell Genomics and Cell Ontology
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 18:56

Cell ontology is the vocabulary for defining cell types, and it's important in biology. Single-cell genomics is revolutionizing cell ontology but combining large data sets with classical knowledge is challenging. Dr. Richard Scheuermann, La Jolla Campus Director at the Venter Institute, discusses single-cell sequencing and computational methods to classify cell types.

Episode 13: The Human Genome - What Are We Missing?
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 16:14

The human genome was completely sequenced in 2003 - or, was it? Robert Fulton discusses his efforts to try and finally complete the human genome and to build a better human genome reference. Bob is Professor of Genetics at the Washington University School of Medicine, and Director of Development at the McDonnell Genome Institute in Saint Louis, Missouri.

Episode 12: Human Microbiome - Our Second Human Genome
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 14:38

We live in harmony with trillions of microbes in and on our bodies - the human microbiome. These microbes outnumber your cells by 10 to 1, and their genes outnumber yours by 100 to 1. But, what do they do? Dr. Kristine and Todd Wylie, Professors of Pediatrics at Washington University in St. Louis, discuss how they use NGS to understand the human microbiome and its association with health.

Episode 11: Targeted NGS Empowers Genetic Testing
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 15:19

According to the US National Library of Medicine's Genetic Testing Registry, 10,000 conditions can be identified with genetic testing. The high-throughput and relatively low cost of NGS is advantageous for multigene testing. Dr. Samuel Myllykangas, co-founder of Blueprint Genetics, discusses how current and future NGS innovations may impact genetic testing.

Episode 10: Childhood Cancer Risk and Genetics
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 16:59

According to the US National Cancer Institute, 15,000 children and adolescents will be diagnosed with cancer in the United States this year. Fortunately, research has improved the outlook for children with cancer. Dr. Todd Druley, Professor of Medicine at Washington University, discusses how next-generation sequencing is reshaping our understanding of childhood cancer risk and biology.

Episode 9: Genomics and Protecting Endangered Species
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 12:09

The critically endangered Saimaa ringed seal is found only in Lake Saimaa, in Finland. Their isolation makes them an excellent model system for studying population and genetic bottlenecks. Dr. Petri Auvinen is a Research Director at the University of Helsinki in Finland. He discusses the Saimaa ringed seal genome project and its impact on saving this animal species from extinction.

Episode 8: Making Sense of Cancer Genomes
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 15:48

To enable precision medicine in cancer, health care providers need a solid understanding of genetic information. Drs. Obi and Malachi Griffith are Professors of Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. They discuss their work in improving bioinformatics education and improving clinical interpretations of sequence variants in cancer.

Episode 7: RNA Sequencing in Diagnostics
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 15:11

Personalized medicine involves using a patient's genomic information to better predict disease risk, prognosis, and treatment response. Current genomics-based diagnostic platforms typically use DNA. Dr. Dave Messina is Chief Operations Officer at Cofactor Genomics in St. Louis, MO. He discusses the benefits and the challenges in using RNA sequencing as a diagnostics platform.

Episode 6: Genomics and Immune Diseases
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 15:14

In the United States, autoimmune diseases affect 24 million people, resulting in 100 billion dollars of direct health costs annually. Dr. Janna Saarela is Research Director at the Finnish Institute of Molecular Medicine (FIMM) in Helsinki, Finland. She discusses her use of genomics to identify pathogenic mechanisms behind common and rare immune diseases.

Episode 5: Food Spoilage and Genomics
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 13:37

Food spoilage in global supply chains costs over 35 billion US dollars annually. Despite these costs, we still don't exactly know what makes food spoil. Dr. Johanna Bjorkroth is Professor of Food Hygiene and Environmental Health at the University of Helsinki. She discusses her use of genomics to identify the microbial causes of food spoilage.

Episode 4: Finnish Genetics Aid Disease Research
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 12:51

The country of Finland is the largest population isolate in Europe, with a number of rare alleles enriched in the Finnish population. Dr. Hannele Laivuori and Dr. Mervi Kinnunen coordinate the Sequencing Initiative Suomi and Industry Partnership for Human Genetics projects. They discuss how Finnish genetic information is being used to help disease research.

Episode 3: The EMBL Genomics Core Facility
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 13:47

Next generation sequencing, or NGS, has helped to fuel amazing scientific discoveries across a wide range of scientific disciplines. Dr. Vladimir Benes directs the EMBL Genomics Core Facility, and he recently sat down with us to discuss how genomics has impacted and enabled scientific research at EMBL and abroad.

Episode 2: Uncovering Enhancer Hijacking Events in Cancer
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 15:43

Genetic variation can impact our susceptibility to developing diseases, like cancer. Dr. Jan Korbel of the EMBL discusses his search for structural variants by using an approach combining computational and laboratory methodology. He discusses his recent work to uncover enhancer hijacking events in cancer.

Episode 1: Single-Cell Genomics and Mars
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 15:33

Microbes have been around for billions of years, and they continue to shape our planet and all life on it. Dr. Ramunas Stepanasukas of the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences explains how single-cell genomics can help us to better understand microbial diversity and microbial biology. He even discuss how single-cell genomics can help us in our exploration of other planets, like Mars.