Illumina Day in Kyiv: looking towards a flourishing genomics community in Ukraine

The Illumina Day in Kyiv was the brightest event in the Ukrainian genomic community for the first half of 2018 at least. The goal was not only to increase the awareness about Illumina, Inc. products and solutions but also help researchers and practitioners to fill gaps between basic and applied segments. We are fascinated that Next-Generation Sequencing in Ukraine is developing around Illumina, Inc. as the world's largest provider of #NGS-relevant products.

Most of visitors are still new to NGS, and now they can see that NGS is doable, affordable, and efficient. Not less important, people saw that Illumina is already in Ukraine through IMG, an Illumina channel partner in Ukraine and that our team is ready to help building NGS labs from ground zero and provide support in the future.

The main focus of the Illumina Day in Kyiv was genetic counseling (exome panels) and oncology (target panels). Yet people from many other areas, such as horticulture and agrigenomics, found a lot of useful information. And of course, reproductive geneticists and basic researchers - NGS pioneers in Ukraine - were very active during discussions and seminars.

From Illumina side, there were presentations by:
- Florian Graedler (Sr. Product Specialist Distributors EMEA, Illumina Germany GmbH),
- Anton Tsiganov-Boudunov (Bioinformatics Implementation & Support Lead Staff Bioinformatics Support Scientist Illumina UK Ltd.),
- Holly Zheng Bradley (Staff Bioinformatics Scientist, Bioinformatics & Professional Services, illumina UK Ltd.)
- Yakiv Vitrenko (Scientific consultant for Illumina sequencing applications,
IMG, Ukraine).

The second half of the plenary day was reserved for Illumina users delivering success stories from Ukraine and abroad. The talks from Ukraine were given by
- Dr. Oksana Piven (Institute of Molecular Biology & Genetics),
- Dr. Kateryna Lavrova (Clinic of reproductive medicine "NADIYA"),
- Dr. Dmytro Shapochka (Laboratory Of Pathology "CSD Health Care"),
- Prof. Ludmila A. Livshits (Institute of Molecular Biology and Genetics).

The keynote talk was given by Professor Rafał Płoski from Warsaw Medical University, whose expertise in whole exome sequencing for the diagnostics of rare genetic diseases is widely acclaimed.

On the second day, we held three seminars for a smaller group focusing on for library prep, lab set-up, and data analysis. Participants had a chance to see the advantages of using BaseSpace for their data processing pipelines, got insight into the sequencing routine and ways of optimizing NGS lab.

We are happy that after this event, five people came to us with idea to get an Illumina instrument and start their own lab.

The overall feedback was favorable and we dare to conclude that we accomplished our goals. People enjoyed not only the format but the location: UNIT.City, an innovation park offering platform for all kinds of IT and biotech start-ups. Holding the Illuimina day at such "futuristic" smarties-oriented place proved to be the right choice.

Now we have quite a long list of new connections and proposals and happy that NGS community grows! Thank you for being with us!