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The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and BGI Announce Partnership and New Joint Genome Center to Target Pediatric Diseases

PHILADELPHIA and CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Nov. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and BGI, the world's largest genomics institute, today announced they have formed a partnership, BGI@CHOP, to conduct large-scale human genome sequencing and bioinformatics analysis at a newly established, state-of-the-art Joint Genome Center at Children's Hospital. The partnership will focus on the discovery of genes underpinning rare and common pediatric diseases using next-generation sequencing. The Center became fully operational last month.

The BGI@CHOP partnership will bring together the unique strengths of two world-class institutions. BGI's capabilities and expertise in whole genome sequencing and analysis, combined with Children's Hospital's extensive biobank and expertise in clinical phenotyping, will allow scientists and clinicians to harness the power of large, detailed data sets to improve the lives of patients and families.

"The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia has built the largest pediatric biobank in the world, and because many of these samples have been linked to clinical data using an electronic medical record, we can now follow disease processes into adulthood," said Hakon Hakonarson, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Center for Applied Genomics at Children's Hospital. "Through our partnership with BGI, we now have a clear path forward into the genomics-based personalized medicine arena."

"We are very excited about this new partnership with BGI," said Philip Johnson, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.  "It is an ideal collaboration between two world-class institutions. The ultimate goal is to change the way we diagnose and treat diseases that affect children and families, and our work with BGI is an important first step toward that end."

"This new partnership will accelerate the discovery of genetic variants underpinning rare and common pediatric diseases by joining the forces of one of the best pediatric hospitals in the world with the world's largest genomics institute," said Jun Wang, Executive Director of BGI.

"We look forward to a productive relationship with The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, a global leader in pediatric care and research," stated Greg Wang, Chief Executive Officer of BGI Americas. "Given BGI's expertise in genomic sequencing and bioinformatics, we expect our partnership with Children's Hospital and the establishment of the BGI@CHOP Joint Genome Center to lead to significant breakthroughs that may be translated into improved patient care."

About BGI

BGI was founded in Beijing, China, on September 9th, 1999, with the mission of being a premier scientific partner to the global research community. The goal of BGI is to make leading-edge genomic science highly accessible through its investment in infrastructure that leverages the best available technology, economies of scale, and expert bioinformatics resources.

BGI, and its affiliates, BGI Americas, based in Cambridge, MA, and BGI Europe, based in Copenhagen, Denmark, have established partnerships and collaborations with leading academic and government research institutions as well as global biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, supporting a variety of disease, agricultural, environmental, and related applications. BGI has established a proven track record of excellence, delivering results with high efficiency and accuracy for innovative, high profile research that has generated more than 170 publications in top-tier journals such as Nature and Science. For additional information about BGI please see or

About The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia was founded in 1855 as the first pediatric hospital in the United States. Through its long-standing commitment to providing exceptional patient care, training new generations of pediatric healthcare professionals and pioneering major research initiatives, Children's Hospital has fostered many discoveries that have benefited children worldwide and its pediatric research program is among the largest in the U.S. In addition, its unique family-centered care and public service programs have brought the 516-bed hospital recognition as a leading advocate for children and adolescents. For more information, visit

To see brief videos of scientists from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and BGI describing the new Joint Genome Center, go to

Contact Information:
John Ascenzi
Public Relations Department
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Joyce Peng, Ph.D.
Marketing Director
BGI Americas Corporation

Bicheng Yang
Public Communication Officer

SOURCE The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
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