Othram Awarded a Research Sequencing Grant at SXSW by Illumina Accelerator

Tuesday, March 12, 2019 General News
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Othram wins a research grant from Illumina Accelerator and presents at SXSW on breakthrough sequencing and informatics techniques for reconstructing genomes from challenging DNA samples.

THE WOODLANDS, Texas, March 12, 2019 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Othram, Inc. was awarded a research sequencing grant from

Illumina Accelerator after presenting at SXSW for the "Digitizing Biology Through Genomics" session as part of the Energizing Health House program. Othram is a venture-backed technology company that operates a state-of-the-art forensic DNA sequencing laboratory focused on reconstructing genome sequences from degraded and low-input DNA sources. The company recently raised a $4 million Series A round, led by Nimble Ventures and completed construction on a new forensic sequencing laboratory in The Woodlands, Texas. The Othram team is currently piloting its technology for humanitarian efforts to establish identities for challenging and unidentified remains.

"We are excited to leverage our laboratory and informatics platform for public good, by helping to name the nameless, and bringing closure for heartbroken families," said Dr. David Mittelman, Othram CEO. Dr. Mittelman is a geneticist and biochemist, who trained at the Baylor College of Medicine Human Genome Sequence Center under renowned genomicist Dr. Richard Gibbs. Dr. Mittelman has founded and exited multiple ventures, including Arpeggi, a sequencing analytics company that was acquired by consumer genomics firm Gene by Gene, Ltd.

One Othram pilot partner is the DNA Doe Project, a non-profit initiative that combines modern genetic and traditional genealogical methods to identify John and Jane Does. DNA Doe has established itself as a leading organization for law enforcement agencies and medical examiners seeking to identify remains. Othram is providing DNA Doe with its whole genome sequencing-based product, which yields information and insight that is superior to other human identification technologies.

"Othram's sequencing analytics have been impressive. We are excited about our collaboration with Othram and looking forward to things to come as we send ever-more-challenging cases through their pipeline," says Colleen Fitzpatrick, PhD, co-founder of the DNA Doe Project. Dr. Fitzpatrick is widely recognized as a founder of modern forensic genealogy. She and her co-founder, Margaret Press, PhD, have worked dozens of Doe cases for law enforcement using an approach known as investigative genetic genealogy.

Othram also seeks to support criminal investigations, such as homicides and sexual assaults, as well as applications for defense/security. However, forensics is not the only application of Othram's technology. Sequencing trace quantities of DNA, such as those found circulating in our blood stream, has clinical applications as well.

"We certainly have future plans to explore research and clinical applications of our technology," says Nick Griggs, Director of Sales at Othram. Mr. Griggs was previously a regional sales director for Color Genomics, a biotechnology company that offers physician-ordered genetic testing.

About Othram Inc. Othram applies cutting-edge genomics to forensics in a novel way that harnesses the full potential of genome sequencing to deliver superior genomic insight from degraded and low-input DNA samples. Founded in 2018, Othram operates at the intersection of molecular biology, population genetics and bioinformatics. Our team includes leading scientists and engineers working at the frontier of genomics, using proprietary laboratory techniques and computational algorithms to extract the most value possible from human DNA. We work with the military, law enforcement, private investigators, historians, and academic researchers to maximize the value of their genetic samples. Othram is headquartered in The Woodlands, Texas. Follow Othram on Twitter @OthramTech or visit http://www.othram.com to learn how we can help you with your case.



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