BGI, a China-based leading global genomics organization, is expanding its international operations with the formation of a new division, BGI Groups USA, to be based in Seattle, Washington.
The firm is engaged in scientific research, genomic sequencing, precision medicine, agriculture, bioinformatics and related technologies with a vision to use genomics to benefit humanity. According to company officials, from Seattle, the company will expand partnerships with universities, companies and health and agriculture-related organizations, and support communications and branding, product development and investment.
"BGI's commitment to North America, particularly the Seattle region, recognizes the strong ecosystem of biotechnology and health groups working at the forefront of medicine," said Dr. Yiwu He, CEO of BGI Groups USA and BGI's global head of Research and Development. "The new office will help us connect those resources with BGI's international capabilities and scale to accelerate global innovation for human health."
Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said BGI can help strengthen the community of scientists and engineers in Seattle who are working to solve global issues and improve lives.
"BGI is one of Shenzhen's most famous companies and is an impressive pioneer in DNA sequencing. Their new division based in Seattle is a welcome addition to our community," Murray said. "Seattle and BGI share a vision for a future where we are all better off thanks to scientific advancements."
BGI has made major scientific breakthroughs in sequencing human genomes and the genomes of crops, animals and microbes. As the world's largest genomics center, BGI produces at least a quarter of the world's genomic data. It is also the only genomics organization that focuses not only on humans, but also on agriculture, biodiversity and the environment.
In Seattle, BGI has multiple partnerships with several leading research institutes in the area, including University of Washington Medicine, to collaborate on precision medicine and accelerate the application of new sequencing technologies developed by BGI to human health. BGI has partnered with Washington State University to cooperate on programs in basic and applied research, technology and information transfer, and economic development.
BGI is also working with five leading health and research organizations in British Columbia to bring together advanced technologies and individualized therapy for cancer and other diseases. The partnership, between BGI, Providence Health Care, St. Paul's Foundation, Vancouver Prostate Centre (VPC), Genome British Columbia (Genome BC), and Deloitte Inc., focuses on applying next generation sequencing technologies and big data to accelerate personalized medicine and improve outcomes for patients.
BGI also has a long-term partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation focused on projects and strategies to apply genomic tools to improve global health and agricultural development.