AGRF and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research partner to deliver human whole genome sequencing

30 September 2014

AGRF and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research partner to deliver human whole genome sequencing to Australian researchers

Melbourne 30/09/2014 – Today the Australian Genome Research Facility (AGRF) and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research (Garvan) announce they will be collaborating to facilitate Australia's access to whole human genome sequencing – a transformational new advance in genomic science.

This partnership will combine AGRF’s national genomics infrastructure with the sequencing power of the HiSeqTM X Ten fleet located in the Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics at the Garvan Institute to provide simplified access to the broader community of Australian genomic researchers.

The HiSeq X Ten system is Illumina’s recently released large-scale genome sequencing platform with the specific purpose of sequencing the 3 billion bases of the human genome.  The HiSeq X Ten platform is capable of sequencing more than 350 human genomes per week, the equivalent of 18,000 genomes per year. The technology is likely to power never-before-seen investigations into human health.

Given AGRF’s long standing reputation as a quality genomics service provider with national reach, collaborating with AGRF assists the Garvan to service more of the nation’s biomedical genomics users. Accessing this research tool is important to allow Australian researchers to compete on the world’s stage. 

“Over our 17 year history, AGRF has witnessed the genomics revolution first hand” said Sue Forrest, CEO of AGRF, “Providing access to the best suite of relevant technologies is one of AGRF’s key remits as a national genomics provider. As such we are excited to be able to partner with the Garvan Institute to offer the capabilities of the HiSeq X Ten to Australia.”

“This partnership will help expand the portfolio that Australian genomics researchers can access through their local channels, and keep the Biomedical community on par with international fields.”

Beginning from the 1st of October 2014, AGRF will facilitate the access to whole human genome sequencing service through the Garvan Institute. Research users interested in accessing this service should contact AGRF. More details can be found at


About the AGRF

AGRF is a not-for-profit organisation enabling Australian genomics through a national network of leading edge services and expertise accessible at the local level.  AGRF assists Australia’s access to the latest genomic technologies to advance national genomics research.

AGRF was established in 1997 under the Commonwealth government’s Major National Research Facility (MNRF) program as a joint venture between the University of Queensland and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research.  AGRF was the first facility of its kind in Australia, ensuring researchers had full access to leading edge technologies within the country.  Today the AGRF is supported by the Commonwealth Government infrastructure funding schemes including NCRIS, EIF Super Science, CRIS and NCRIS 2 through Bioplatforms Australia. 

Since their inception, AGRF have increased access points to five nodes throughout Australia, thus building a national network of capabilities and expertise.  Services available at the AGRF include Sanger sequencing, Next Generation sequencing, Genotyping, DNA Extraction, Microarray Gene Expression, DNA Methylation and Bioinformatics.

About the Garvan Institute for Medical Research

The Garvan Institute of Medical Research was founded in 1963 and is now one of Australia’s largest medical research institutions with over 600 scientists, students and support staff. Garvan’s main research areas are: Cancer, Diabetes and Metabolism, Immunology and Inflammation, Osteoporosis and Bone Biology, and Neuroscience. Garvan’s mission is to make significant contributions to medical science that will change the directions of science and medicine and have major impacts on human health. The outcome of Garvan’s discoveries is the development of better methods of diagnosis, treatment, and ultimately, prevention of disease.

In 2012, Garvan established Australia’s first purpose-built facility for undertaking clinical-grade genome sequencing and large-scale research projects. With the support from the Kinghorn Foundation, Garvan acquired an Illumina HiSeq X Ten Sequencing System in January, 2014. The Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics (KCCG) researchers undertakes collaborative projects and genome-based studies to improve genome interpretation, with the ultimate aim of advancing the use of genomic information in patient care.  KCCG is seeking accreditation that would ultimately allow clinicians to sequence genomes for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.