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Biocom Institute, Illumina and Illumina Foundation Partner to Bring Genomics Education to the Classroom

August 25, 2020

Illumina Genomic Discoveries Educator Program designed to educate students on real-world genomic experiences

SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Biocom Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that supports life science innovation by strengthening the workforce and leaders of tomorrow, today announced a partnership with Illumina and the Illumina Foundation to advance the Illumina Genomic Discoveries Educator Program & Curriculum. Using Illumina’s latest technologies, this comprehensive program will allow teachers and students the opportunity to learn and connect with the world of genomics.

“Learning how genomics is applied to solve global-scale issues is perhaps more relevant now than ever, as scientists are using genetic sequencing to help combat today’s COVID-19 pandemic,” said Karmin Noar, executive director of the Biocom Institute. “In partnering with both Illumina and the Illumina Foundation, we are making science more accessible and empowering teachers and students to uncover the science of genomics in a hands-on, immersive way.”

Illumina Genomic Discoveries offers high school level educators in the San Diego area access to genomics-focused professional development, curriculum and industry connections, with the ultimate goal of inspiring students to pursue careers in the life science industry. The program kicks off with a five-day professional development workshop, providing teachers with the necessary training to bring this topic and its technology into their classrooms. The workshop, which is at no charge to teachers, provides instructional guidance on utilizing Illumina’s iSeq 100 sequencing platform and direct connections with Illumina’s scientists and engineers. The first professional development workshop took place on July 27 in a virtual environment, and future sessions will be available for sign-up online. In addition to the workshop, a science educator community of practice is launching, allowing teachers to share best practices, curriculum ideas, and grow their educational networks. Teachers can sign up to participate here.

“Our mission to improve human health starts with fostering a passion for science to inspire our youth to pursue STEM careers, while making it easy for educators to bring genomics into the classroom,” said Jacquie Ross, vice president of communications, investor relations and corporate social responsibility at Illumina. “Our partnership with Biocom Institute to launch Illumina Genomic Discoveries provides equitable access to science education by offering a series of programs that aim to inspire, educate, and prepare students for an exciting new era of genomics.”

The Illumina Genomic Discoveries program is the result of a grant awarded to Biocom Institute by the Illumina Foundation earlier this year. The program aims to have increased teacher participation from Title 1 schools in an effort to provide more equitable access to science education. While initially available to educators in San Diego county, there is the potential for Genomic Discoveries to expand to additional regions in the future.

“The Illumina Genomic Discoveries training prepares educators to bring the cutting-edge technology of next generation sequencing to our classrooms. The collaboration between Biocom Institute and Illumina brought together key components of teaching experience, workforce development, and expertise in the world of genomics,” said Tania Peña, a Clairemont High School teacher who participated in the program. “I have confidence in taking the lessons back into my classroom.”

For more information on the Illumina Genomic Discoveries Educator Program & Curriculum and participation, visit

About Illumina Genomic Discoveries

Illumina and the Illumina Foundation are partnering with Biocom Institute to create an educational community where teachers can learn and connect with the world of genomics. Illumina Genomic Discoveries provides opportunities for teachers to access genomics-focused professional development, real-world curriculum and industry connections. It is our hope to empower teachers to create meaningful experiences for students around genomics and inspire the next generation to pursue careers in life sciences.

About Biocom Institute

Biocom Institute is a 501(c)(3) that accelerates the growth of California’s life science ecosystem through cutting-edge workforce development and STEM education programs and strategies. We identify innovative solutions to address employers' workforce needs, conduct research, and support the current and emerging life sciences workforce through professional development and outreach. With a goal to build a highly-skilled and diverse talent pipeline and promote lifelong learning, Biocom Institute supports life science innovation and success state-wide and in our local communities. Biocom Institute is an affiliate of Biocom, the largest and most experienced advocate for California’s life science sector. For more information on Biocom Institute, please visit our website at and connect with us on Twitter (@BiocomInstitute).

About Illumina Foundation

Illumina Corporate Foundation is a private nonprofit 501(c)(3) whose mission is to accelerate access to genomics and empower Illumina employees to make a difference in the communities where they live and work. We seek to inspire a passion for science by investing in genomic literacy through STEM education programs and encouraging employees to share their time, talent and technological expertise with the communities focusing on genetic health, rare and undiagnosed genetic diseases and oncology to make a meaningful difference. To learn more, visit our corporate and social responsibility page.

About Illumina

Illumina is improving human health by unlocking the power of the genome. Our focus on innovation has established us as the global leader in DNA sequencing and array-based technologies, serving customers in the research, clinical and applied markets. Our products are used for applications in the life sciences, oncology, reproductive health, agriculture and other emerging segments. To learn more, visit and follow @illumina.

Biocom Media Contact:
Carolyn Hawley
Canale Communications
(619) 849-5382

Source: Biocom

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