The Illumina FastTrack Services sequencing team combines high-performance Illumina platforms and technology with expert project managers, scientists, lab staff, and engineers to guarantee delivery of high-quality sequencing data to support your research projects. The team is dedicated to providing the best service for every customer. Similarly, they are committed to the evolution of Illumina sequencing technology to accelerate genomic discovery.
With 58% of the FastTrack Services team having over 5 years of genomic experience, the team is powered to provide the best service and highest quality data for every project. The team has the technical expertise to understand the complex technical details of whole-genome sequencing your project requires.
In addition, 48% of the staff hold an advanced degree in biological sciences and/or genomics. This background enables the team to engage actively with each customer to better support their project and scientific pursuits.
“I want to share the news that we figured out a rare disease through whole genome sequencing we did with you. We got only tiny amounts of affected skin samples—hence as you know we had very small amounts of DNA to send you. But you helped us to make it work. Thanks for all your help with this. Let’s do it again for a couple more diseases!”
To maintain success of a high-throughput sequencing lab that delivers high-quality data in rapid time, the lab management team works diligently to ensure processes are maintained and up to quality standards.
Scaling up operations and generate petabytes of data requires the collaboration of multiple groups throughout Illumina. Furthermore, managing large datasets is a significant challenge that grows with the onset of new technologies and analysis tools. Illumina FastTrack Services has a skilled group of bioinformaticians with the expertise to combat these challenges.
Illumina FastTrack Services provides personalized customer service with dedicated scientific experts. Our project management staff is readily available to assist customers with project enrollment, routine project updates and data delivery. They provide support to ensure the success of each project, delivering high-quality data with fast turnaround time.
The Illumina FastTrack Services team includes additional key members such as production and automation scientists, life-cycle management engineers, and equipment engineers. They provide the end-to-end support needed for our high-throughput lab to deliver high-quality genomes with fast turnaround times.
Josh Bernd received his Bachelor of Science from University of California, San Diego. After working with radioactive P32 end labeling, Sanger sequencing, and cDNA microarrays, Josh joined Illumina in 2002. At Illumina, Josh participated in the launch of the first GoldenGate assay and development of the Infinium assay. Throughout the development, Josh specialized in improvements to Illumina’s manufacturing processes.
With the acquisition of Solexa, Josh pioneered the on-boarding of human whole-genome sequencing in Illumina FastTrack Services. Josh set up production on the GA system and ultimately transitioned to the HiSeq system. Josh led automation of one of the largest genomic centers in the world, including enablement of a Laboratiory Information Management (LIMS) system to ensure positive sample tracking for every project. Under Josh’s guidance, FastTrack Sequencing Services sequenced over 10,000 samples, including the launch of the first human genome in 14 days — providing researchers with the ability to make biological discoveries in record time.
Pedro Cruz received a Master of Science in Biotechnology from the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok, Thailand. Pedro spent six years at NHGRI-NIH as a bioinformatics specialist, concentrating on next-generation sequencing platforms and analysis pipelines. Pedro contributed to studies focusing on cancer, heart disease, human evolution, and data warehouse technology.
In 2011, Pedro joined Illumina to manage bioinformatic operations. Pedro currently leads the deployment of new analysis pipelines, including Isaac alignment and variant calling software. Pedro also oversees the development of software applications that enable Illumina FastTrack Services to manage and track data processing and genome build quality.
Karine received a master’s in oceanography from Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris and a master’s in evolutionary biology and conservation genetics from San Diego State University, focusing on morphological and genetic distinctiveness of endangered population of dolphins and porpoises. She continues to be involved in cetacean conservation projects and has established collaborations with researchers from all over the world. Her contributions in molecular ecology and conservation genetics have resulted in the conservation of wild populations of dolphins and porpoises.
In 2005, Karine joined the Illumina FastTrack Services project management team as a scientist where she supported large scale genotyping projects. She was part of the development of the first Infinium whole-genome genotyping products, and the pioneer team who developed the methodology to analyze data for millions of loci generated with Illumina Infinium beadchips. She performed the post-synthesis analysis for multiple microarray products from the HumanHap300 to the HumanOmni2.5. In 2011, Karine extended her expertise to next generation sequencing to support large scale sequencing projects. She currently oversees the FastTrack project management group. Through her leadership, the team has developed and streamlined scalable processes, further enhancing project management and customer support. Karine manages between 60 to 100 projects at a time for customers ranging from academia to pharmaceutical companies, and is a key contributor to the development of software applications and lab process implementations.
Joey Flores received a Bachelors of Science in Biology from the University of California, San Diego. At the Salk Institute, Joey contributed to the identification of two distinct T-DNA homozygous insertion lines for every gene in Arabidopsis, where only 30,000 mutant lines have been isolated to date. Joey’s contributions have been applied to reverse genetic screens to systematically test for functional roles of genes in Arabidopsis.
In 2011, Joey joined Illumina FastTrack Services as a member of the library preparation team. Joey made significant contributions to the optimization and development of high-throughput processes for whole genome and exome enrichment library preparation. Joey has expertise using Illumina’s TruSeq technology, generating high quality libraries for sequencing on Illumina’s HiSeq system. Joey handles the customer inference and management of over 40 projects, ensuring the proper on-boarding and delivery of customer data.
Linda Gutierrez received a Bachelors of Science in Chemistry from the University of California, San Diego. In 2010, she joined Illumina FastTrack Services to work with the microarray team, where she trained on the Infinium platform, providing high-throughput genotyping data to customers. Linda later transitioned to the whole-genome sequencing team, contributing to the deployment of the GA system’s technology and later the implementation of the HiSeq technology into Services.
Linda helped expand lab operations from a small sequencing facility to a world-class genomic center generating the highest output of human whole-genome sequencing data. Linda excels at adapting and implementing new processes to streamline protocols, enabling FastTrack Services to scale to meet demand. Building on her laboratory expertise, Linda is currently part of the project management team where she has contributed to the success of multiple projects. Her insight from the laboratory has enabled her to relate to each customer to provide more informative responses and address any concerns. As a customer’s primary point of contact, she is well equipped to help customers understand the sequencing process from sample submission to data delivery. Linda has ample experience QC’ing the quality of sequencing data, providing customers with the assurance that they will receive the highest quality data.
The production and automation scientists offering insights into genome quality and process development. The production scientists work with our project managers and bioinformaticians to ensure that every genome meets our quality requirement and SNP concordance. As build outliers within projects are identified, a detailed investigation is executed and actions are taken to determine next steps.
Automation scientists develop laboratory protocols when automation is introduced to ensure that our processes are consistent and reliable from genome to genome.
Life-cycle management (LCM) engineers monitor lab metrics to ensure we produce the highest quality genomes. They optimize and streamline current procedures and workflows, while also developing, testing and integrating new technologies as they become available.
Equipment engineers maintain, analyze and improve instruments as well as resolve reoccurring issues. They ensure our lab is able to consistently produce the maximum number of high quality genomes with the minimum amount of downtime. Equipment engineers handle instrument installations, maintenance and implementation of new developments as well as perform equipment engineering design evaluations and solutions.