Thursday, May 10, 2018 at 12:20pm
Scientific Adviser to Israel-based NRGene
In the spring of 2016, six years after forming in Ness Ziona, Israel, NRGene, Ltd. opened the doors to its US office in St. Louis. The biotech company has developed analytics, technology and software to compare genomes and plant performance across breeding populations to help predict the best genomic makeup.
Why? Because the world needs to eat.
“We need to feed 9 billion people by 2050 using less arable land, less water and fewer inputs,” says Dr. Paul Chomet, scientific adviser for the company. “One important solution will be to accelerate breeding by using big genomic data to efficiently select and advance desirable genetic diversity.”
Chomet was the last graduate student of Dr. Barbara McClintock, the Nobel Prize-winning cytogeneticist who challenged existing concepts of genome structure and function. Now NRGene is helping to continue her legacy.
After assembling more than 80 complete genomes in 2015—including one of the most complex: bread wheat, about five times the size of a human genome—NRGene entered into a partnership with Illumina, one of the largest sequencing companies in the world.
“I’m very excited about NRGene’s technology, [particularly] the GenoMAGIC (TM) platform, which is being utilized extensively across both academia and industry to transform how scientists make breeding decisions using big genomic data,” says Dr. Chomet. “NRGene in St. Louis really just demonstrates the universal truth of business: You need to be in the right location, selling the right goods at just the right time. St. Louis, our technology and the ever-increasing need to feed the world puts us right there.