Royal visitor "fascinated" by world-leading cancer lab technology

PUBLISHED: 17:48 24 January 2013 | UPDATED: 17:53 24 January 2013

The Duke of Kent (right) was greeted by Dr David Bentley, vice president & chief scientist at Illumina, together with the Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, Mr Hugh Duberly.

The Duke of Kent (right) was greeted by Dr David Bentley, vice president & chief scientist at Illumina, together with the Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, Mr Hugh Duberly.

Michael cameron Photography

ROYALTY came to Great Chesterford earlier this week when the Duke of Kent paid a private visit to a company which specialises in world-leading technology for the benefit of cancer research.

Illumina Inc, based at Chesterford Research Park, welcomed HRH Prince Edward after His Royal Highness had expressed an interest in the firm’s work.

The Duke wanted to visit the company to hear more about its world-leading genome sequencing technology and its impact on human health.

Illumina’s goal is to apply innovative technologies to the analysis of genetic variation and function, making studies possible that were not even imaginable just a few years ago. It is hoped these studies will help make personalised medicine possible.

The Duke was welcomed by Dr David Bentley, Illumina’s vice president and chief scientist before meeting members of the R&D, Commercial and BlueGnome senior teams. He was given a tour of the laboratories, seeing first-hand the process and science of sequencing genomes.

“The Duke was clearly fascinated by the science behind our technology, stopping and chatting with members of staff about their work. At the end of the laboratory tour we invited him to start a cancer genome run on Illumina’s HiSeq 2500 sequencing machine, which he was delighted to do,” Dr Bentley said.

The Duke concluded his visit by unveiling a commemorative plaque.

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