This year, our NextGen Omics UK 2020 event series featured four interactive programmes: 12th Annual Next Generation Sequencing Congress, 8th Annual Single Cell Analysis Congress, 6th Annual Genome Editing Congress and 2nd Annual Digital Congress. 2020 marked the first time these events have gone virtual, with a revamped programme featuring the latest developments in the genomics field. NextGen Omics UK 2020 bought together over 1000 industry experts representing internationally renowned academic & research institutions, clinical research institutions, healthcare organisations as well as leading pharmaceutical and biotech companies.
We had the privilege to welcome some of the key leaders of genomics last year, including Jadwiga Bienkowska (Senior Director and Head of Computational Biology at Pfizer), Yann Abraham (Computational Immunologist Janssen), Akos Végvári (Project Manager, Karolinska Institute), Roberto Nitsch (Associate Director – CRISPR Safety, AstraZeneca), Mike Makrigiorgos (Professor and Director – Medical Physics and Biophysics, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute), Massimo Delledonne (Professor of Biotechnology, University of Verona), Patrick Descombes (Head of Genomics, Nestle Institute of Food Safety Analytical Sciences) and Ed Oakeley (Associate Director of Genomics, Novartis).
NextGen Omics UK took place between 04 – 06 November last year and was split into four main tracks.
12th Annual Next Generation Sequencing & Clinical Diagnostics Congress
This year’s event featured a brand new, revamped programme. Topics included key developments in delivering genomic-based medicine and NGS (Next Generation Sequencing) bioinformatics. This year the event was extended to cover microbiome methodologies and long and short-read sequencing. In addition, a roundtable discussion on ‘Managing Expectations in Bioinformatic Data Communication’ drew the attention of many of our attendees. The discussion covered data analysis in practice and communicating the data and concepts of data to other people. The event also features two open panels on Covid-19 where attendees could share their opinions about its effect on the epigenome and whether scRNA-seq could aid in developing a vaccine.
8th Annual Single Cell Analysis Congress
This comprehensive programme delved deep into spatial transcriptomics, genomics, spatial profiling, emerging single-cell analysis tools and clinical applications. In addition, the event covered single-cell analysis in drug discovery & development, focusing on how single cells can help inform various stages of the drug discovery and development pipeline. Interactive sessions included three panel discussions: ‘Single Cell Proteomics in 2020’, ‘Addressing Different Spatial Omics Techniques’ and ‘Single Cell Analysis for Drug Discovery – Applications & Challenges’.
6th Annual Genome Editing Congress
Returning for a sixth year, our Genome Editing Congress supplied the latest insights and success stories in genome editing tools and technologies, as well as therapeutic genome editing. The event looked at translating cell & gene therapies in the clinic, emphasising developing genome editing technologies sufficient for clinical applications. The conference featured two panel discussions; ‘Bridging the Gap: Bringing Cell and Gene Therapies to the Clinic’ and ‘Beyond Cas-9 – Utilising New CRISPR Systems’.
2nd Annual Digital PCR Congress
Building on the success of last year’s event, this year’s Digital PCR Congress featured discussions on the opportunities to advance the integration of digital PCR with NGS, genome editing and novel digital PCR systems. In addition, presentations explored the diverse applications of digital PCR, including a cutting-edge focus session on the role of digital PCR in clinical oncology and its uses in detection and diagnosis.
Top 5 Most Viewed Presentations
- Single Cell Multiomics Including Simultaneous Profiling of Gene Expression and Chromatin Landscape by Stephen Hague (Senior Science and Technical Advisor, 10xGenomics)
- Approaches For Efficient Detection of Cancer Biomarkers in Liquid Biopsies Using ddpcr and NGS by Mike Makrigiorgos (Professor and Director, Medical Physics and Biophysics, Dana Farber Cancer Institute)
- Sequencing Evolved — Highly Accurate Long Reads for Human Genetics by Ralph Vogelsang (Business Development Manager, EMEA, PacBio)
- A Complete Workflow for Analysis Of cfDNA: From Plasma to Variants by Shilpa Parakh (Senior Applications Scientist in Automation & Biotechnology Business Unit, Beckman Coulter Life Sciences) and Nicole Roseman (Research Scientist, Integrated DNA Technologies)
- Expand Your Understanding of Biology with Illumina Single-Cell and Spatial Sequencing by Pawel Zajac (Senior Segment Marketing Manager EMEA, Cell Biology, Illumina)
Benefits to Attending
Attendees of this year’s NextGen Omics UK were given a glimpse of the future of the genomics field. This event brought together industry leaders who shared cutting edge information on cell analysis, genome editing, cutting edge sequencing techniques and the latest developments in digital PCR.
This year’s NextGen Omics UK provided a unique chance to network, an indispensable opportunity in today’s fast-paced world, allowing attendees to engage in interactive discussions including:
An open discussion addressing Covid-19 and its direct relevance and effect on how severity is related to viral load and how scRNA-seq could aid in developing a vaccine:
- COVID-19 – Open Discussion – Miao-Ping Chien (Oncode Principal Investigator, Erasmus University Medical Centre)
Two Panel Discussions addressing the frontiers & limitation of spatial omics and single-cell analysis from the pharma perspective:
- Addressing Different Spatial Omics Techniques – Giamcomo Vavalli (Research Director, French National Centre for Scientific Research)
- Single Cell Analysis for Drug Discovery – Applications & Challenges – Yong Wang (Principal Scientist – Computational Genomics, Bristol-Myers Squibb)
Next Generation Sequencing
This year’s Next Generation Sequencing & Clinical Diagnostics Congress was busier this year with presentations and discussions on novel methods & approaches to multi-omics data integration, advanced data integration platforms, software tools and cloud computing for WGS data analysis, quality control and statistical tools for data integration, liquid biopsies, plasmid integration in genome editing and the use of optical and electronic mapping. This year, long and short-read sequencing and microbiome methodologies proved especially popular, with several sessions dedicated to exploring the latest developments.
Single Cell Omics
It is no surprise that our Single Cell Analysis Congress proved more popular than ever. Analysing a single cell makes it possible to discover mechanisms not observable when studying multiple cells, and recent research is increasing interest across the pharmaceutical industry and academia. This year’s topics were split between four “streams”: clinical application, omics: spatial transcriptomics, genomics and spatial profiling, and finally, current and emerging tools for single-cell omics analysis. Presentations on the latest software and RNA (ribonucleic acid) sequencing drew some of the largest crowds for this area.
The 6th Annual Genome Editing Congress was divided into three main streams: Genome Editing Technologies & Techniques, Genome Editing in Discovery & Development and Therapeutic Applications of Genome Editing. Subjects covered in the Genome Editing and Techniques stream included viral and non-viral gene delivery systems, cellular and genomic effects of different CRISPR delivery formats, mitigation of off-target mutations, improved knock-in/knock-out methodologies, base editing, prime editing and designing CG→GC base editors. Genome Editing in Discovery and Development covered areas related to the impact of gene editing on drug discovery, encompassing target identification & validation, in vivo genome editing as a therapeutic approach in pharma, non-human models in diagnostics & therapeutics, implementing gene-editing systems for drug screening and development, mitigation of off-target mutations and methods of engineering single-nucleotide variants. The third and final stream, Therapeutic Applications of Genome Editing, was undoubtedly the most exciting for many, discussing the possibilities of genome editing for fighting cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular disease, liver disease, congenital disorders, and more. In addition, specificity and safety considerations ethical and legal issues of human germline editing also received significant attention.
This year the agenda was developed to address two primary areas. The first focused on integrating digital PCR with NGS, genome editing and novel PCR systems and looked at . The second covered applications of digital PCR technologies in therapeutics, focusing on oncology and infectious diseases.
The NextGen Omics UK Series 2020 saw another year of pioneering research in genomics. We were pleased to see the positive feedback from our attendees. The lively networking sessions provided an exclusive opportunity for everyone to engage and share ideas, innovations and gain inspiration for the future. The NextGen Omics Series is one of Oxford Global’s most well-established events that we hold each year in November. For the latest updates on upcoming events, discussion groups, industry insight articles and more, be sure to join our monthly NextGen Omics newsletter!