Bionano Genomics was pleased to be in historic San Antonio for this year’s Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities (ABRF) annual meeting.  During the meeting we had the chance to interact and share ideas with the leaders and researchers staffing many of the core facilities serving institutions all across both the US and internationally.


The theme of this years meeting was “30 Years of Challenging the Limits of Science and Technology, Opening Doors for the Future.” While we didn’t have anything to do with picking the theme, its one that really resonates for us here at Bionano. We work everyday to provide researchers with tools that enable turning yesterday’s “impossible,” into tomorrow’s published results.


Poster Presentations:


To illustrate a few of the ways Bionano’s tools are proving invaluable to cancer researchers we presented 2 posters at ABRF 2019:


PDF: Comprehensive Structural Analysis of Cancer Genomes by Genome Mapping

Ernest Lam, PhD, Bionano Genomics Inc.


PDF: Comprehensive Detection of Germline and Somatic Structural Mutation in Cancer Genomes by Bionano Genomics Optical Mapping

Andy Pang, PhD, Bionano Genomics Inc.


Technology Showcase



Anyone who has attended ABRF knows that each day is packed with sessions discussing technology (new and old) and its execution within the context of a core facility. Bionano was delighted to be a part of the Technology Showcase section at this year’s meeting.


Our “Strengthening the Core with Bionano Genome Mapping” workshop session was kicked off by Chad Collier, the North American Consumables Manager manager at Bionano Genomics giving a brief overview of how the Bionano Genomics technology works.


Chad then quickly ran through 3 major updates to the Saphyr platform for 2019.


  1. Bionano Prep SP Blood and Cell DNA Isolation Kit(Available now) The SP kit offers dramatic improvement to the time it takes to isolate extremely high molecular weight, high quality DNA . With a total 4 hour workflow this new protocol allows a technician to extract Saphyr-ready DNA from 12 fresh or frozen blood or cell line samples in a day.
  2. Saphyr Instrument Improvements(Available now) Our latest hardware update to the Saphyr has dramaticallyincreased the total throughput. The Saphyr now comes equipped with the ability to load 2 chips further reducing any needed hands-on time. We have also engineered a new ‘trio chip’ with 3-flowcells, now allowing 6 samples in total to be loaded and run per hands-on cycle.  On top of all that, each flowcell is now rated to collect a whopping 1.3Tbp -that’s a 400X depth of coverage on a human sample.
  3. New Software Capabilities (Launching soon) By leveraging the new throughput capabilities afforded by the latest Saphyr instrument update we are able to do some truly remarkable things, particularly for Cancer researchers working with very heterogenous tumor samples.We have a built a new class of algorithms that take full advantage of the high throughput the Saphyr now delivers which results in 90% sensitivity for detecting all major classes of large structural variants in as little as 5% allelic fraction.  No other platform can deliver these results at our costs and speed. More details will be available on these new tools as they get closer to launching later this year.



Next up, we invited Tina Graves-Lindsay, the Reference Genomes Group Leader at the Washington University McDonnell Genome Institute (MGI), who manages the team at MGI running the Bionano Saphyr instrument, to share how the data generated by the Saphyr has been a terrific tool for delivering improvements to the human reference assembliesthe team at MGI is tasked with constructing.  And since this was ABRF, Tina also spent time discussing how the Saphyr at MGI functions in the context of being a service provider. As a Bionano Genomics Certified Service Provider, MGI provides Bionano Genome maps to researchers both locally and around the world.  Tina presented an example of how by combining Bionano maps with whole-genome sequencing data and other genomics tools, MGI is able to deliver a leukemia researcher a comprehensive view of the genome of several patient samples revealing previously unseen structural variants with the potential to inform downstream patient care.


Both presentations are available below for anyone who missed them and wants to see first hand what was presented.


PDF: Bionano Genomics Technology Overview and Updates 

Chad Collier, Consumable Sales Manager, Bionano Genomics


PDF: Integrating Bionano Genome Maps Into the Workflow at MGI: Generating High Quality Human Reference Assemblies and Delivering Comprehensive Structural Variant Detection

Tina Graves-Lindsay, MS, Reference Genomes Group Leader McDonnell Genome Institute (MGI), Washington University St. Louis



Overall this years ABRF meeting was a terrific opportunity to meet with the teams fueling discovery at so many different institutions.  Bionano Genomics is both humbled and excited to be on one of the tools “Opening Doors for the Future”.




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