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 27: Genetics of Autism and Psychiatric Disorders
Posted on by Illumina Genomics Podcast Duration: 21:24

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 the SPARK project (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.