Largest Agricultural Genomics Lab in the World Now in Lincoln

By: Courtesy: City of Lincoln
By: Courtesy: City of Lincoln

LINCOLN, Neb.-- GeneSeek, a Nebraska-grown leader in agrigenomics, will dedicate its new facilities in Lincoln on June 26, with the help of Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman, Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler, and other dignitaries.

"We're thrilled to be able to stay and grow within Lincoln," said Stewart Bauck, DVM, GeneSeek's general manager. "For quite some time, we had been clearly outgrowing our facilities in the Technology Park, and evaluated many alternatives that would allow us to significantly increase our capacity - while staying within the heart of livestock production and retaining our talented and experienced employees. Our new location represented the perfect solution."

GeneSeek's new facilities feature more than 30,000 square feet of laboratory and office space customized specifically for GeneSeek - compared to its previous 13,000 crowded square feet.

GeneSeek's technology employs high-resolution DNA genotyping for identity and trait analysis in a variety of important agricultural plant and animal species, including beef and dairy cattle. Through the use of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) discovery and analysis, GeneSeek allows its customers to speed genetic improvement efforts, as well as identify economically important diseases inside the farm gate.

GeneSeek was founded in 1998 by Abe Oommen and Daniel Pomp, and the company had been located at the Technology Park associated with the University of Nebraska since. In 2012, Oommen and Pomp won the Governor's Bioscience award, which recognizes those who have made a significant contribution to the bioscience industry in Nebraska.

In 2010, GeneSeek was acquired by Neogen Corporation. At the time, Oommen said: "GeneSeek's chief scientific advisor Daniel Pomp and I started this business 12 years ago, and have grown it to the point where it makes sense for our shareholders and employees to join a larger company with the resources to continue this growth and expand our market opportunities."

Since being acquired, GeneSeek's employment in Lincoln has nearly tripled to over 90 employees, and its business has increased significantly. In 2012, Neogen and GeneSeek acquired the assets of Igenity from Merial, providing the combined company broader exposure to the cattle market and placed it into a role of working with many end-users. In 2013, Neogen purchased Scidera Genomics, which had also operated as Metamorphix, bringing to GeneSeek a number of important new clients and test specializations with that acquisition. Neogen also recently purchased access to Cargill's BeefGen patents, which covers genomic decision-making methods and technology to assist in breeding, feeding and managing cattle.

"GeneSeek has taken on the entire process from the cattle chute, where the producer gets a sample and sends it to us to process, to where we provide the information to assist the producer on the implementation of the technology," Dr. Bauck said. "And that transformation gives us a wonderful insight into the practical applications of this technology across the industry."


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