Illumina has celebrated 10 years of the acquisition of Solexa and their Sequencing by Synthesis (SBS) system that has since transformed next-generation sequencing around the world.
In Cambridge, UK, we were delighted to welcome the two founders of Solexa, Sir Shankar Balasubramanian, and Professor David Klenerman to mark the event. More than 200 employees joined in the celebration to mark the Solexa and Illumina success that created a truly global impact.
The Solexa story started in August 1997 when University of Cambridge chemistry faculty members Shankar Balasubramanian met with fellow faculty member David Klenerman and two postdoctoral chemists, Mark Osborne and Colin Barnes, at a “beer summit” at his local pub, the Panton Arms. What Shankar sketched out at the summit was a method for colour-coded, solid phase DNA sequencing that could be made massively parallel. It was the first of many discussions and led to our entry into next-generation sequencing at our major locations around the world. SBS remains at the heart of Illumina’s technology and global success in DNA sequencing.