Columbia Genome Center Now Offers Illumina NextSeq 500 Self-Service

Illumina NextSeq 500 at Columbia University

As genome sequencing technologies evolve, the JP Sulzberger Columbia Genome Center continues to provide the Columbia University biological and biomedical research community access to state-of-the-art tools. In its most recent acquisition, the Genome Center has just installed two Illumina NextSeq 500 sequencers. The NextSeq 500 is a flexible and efficient desktop sequencer that offers powerful high-throughput sequencing capabilities.

Columbia investigators who are experienced with the Illumina next-generation sequencing platform can now schedule time to use the NextSeq 500 for their own research. 

About the NextSeq 500

The NextSeq 500 is the first high-throughput desktop sequencer to offer exome, transcriptome, and small genome sequencing in a compact package. It is designed with the individual laboratory in mind, giving investigators direct access to high-depth, high-resolution sequencing data in less than three days. With an easy-to-use, load-and-go interface, the NextSeq 500 can analyze samples of various sizes, and includes software for doing basic analysis of genomic data such as alignment and variant detection, annotation, visualization, and interpretation.

The NextSeq 500 offers a variety of flow cell configurations, including:

  • up to 800 million paired-end reads using the high-output flow cell
  • up to 400 million single reads using the high-output flow cell
  • up to 260 million paired-end reads using the mid-output flow cell
  • up to 130 million single reads using the mid-output flow cell

At this time, the Columbia Genome Center is the only genome center in the New York City area that provides self-service access to this technology.

Scheduling time to use the NextSeq 500

All members of the Columbia University research community are invited to take advantage of this opportunity to incorporate genomic technologies into their work. Following a required training session about operating procedures in the Columbia Genome Center, investigators can reserve access to this facility.

To learn more about self-service sequencing at the Columbia Genome Center, contact

Editor's note: An earlier version of this article also mentioned that the Genome Center offered self-service access to the Illumina MiSeq platform. This service has been discontinued due to the installation of the more advanced NextSeq 500.