(Yicai Global) Oct. 27 -- China's biggest genome sequencing firm, BGI Genomics Co. [SHE:300676], and Harvard University genetics professor George Church have agreed to jointly establish a synthetic biology institute, state-owned Xinhua News Agency reported yesterday.
The professor will head the institute as chief scientist while the Guangzhou-based tech firm will fund research activities in China and the US. The pair will unveil specific projects in January next year.
Prof. Church is director of Harvard Medical School's genetics research center and devised first-generation gene sequencing technology in a paper published in 1984. He has worked as an advisor at BGI Genomics for many years and contributed tremendously to the firm's biological innovations.
The institute will also partner with the China National GeneBank (CNGB) in Shenzhen to promote the development of high-density DNA storage technology, biological product manufacture and medical applications of gene editing technology.
After gene sequencing, gene editing has now become the biggest challenge for synthetic biology studies. The institute will commit itself to advancing gene editing to a higher level, said Xu Xun, executive director of the CNGB.