Transforming Medicine Through Technology

MinION is reshaping the field of medicine and on April 26, 2018, Georgetown University’s Systems Medicine master’s students were the first cohort to experience this technical wonder in a curricular setting. Dr. Narayan Shivpurkar, Assistant Professor of Oncology, and Dr. Sona Vasudevan, Director of the Systems Medicine master’s program, led laboratory research experiments to demonstrate the versatility of the MinION device to their students.

A New Point of Care

MinION is a light-weight, portable, and real-time biological analyses tool that plugs into a computer’s USB port to generate 10-20 Gb of real-time DNA sequencing data in mere hours. Just a few years ago, it could take more than one day to sequence the same amount of data. This small device streams data in real-time in order to make the analysis during the experiment more versatile. The MinION requires only a small amount of sample and the library prep takes less than 2 hrs, making it an efficient and accurate tool to use within the clinic in the near future. Systems Medicine master’s students used the MinION device to conduct experiments in the laboratory of Dr. James Baranuik, Professor of Medicine, Georgetown University School of Medicine.

“The lab was a really great experience overall. I think one of the best parts was gaining hands-on experience for technology that has the potential to transform and shape the medical field in the very near future.”

Grant Kern
MS Systems Medicine '18

Preparing for the Future

The Systems Medicine Master’s program prepares students to positively contribute to the field of medicine. As we interact with revolutionary tools like MinION, we can see the field of medicine is transforming rapidly before our eyes, and Georgetown University’s Systems Medicine program is the first to introduce this device to the curriculum.