LaserGen, Inc. is an emerging biotechnology company focused on commercializing novel technologies for DNA sequencing. Our expertise in nucleotide chemistry and next-generation sequencing has led to a number of key discoveries resulting in both game-changing sequencing chemistry (Lightning Terminators™) and a more accurate sequencing platform. While focusing on the development of current cutting-edge technology, our continued drive for innovation and extensive sequencing knowledge allows us to rapidly evolve and keep pace with fast-changing advances in the sequencing industry.
LaserGen was founded in 2002 by Dr. Michael Metzker (see bio below) following his invention of the Pulsed Multi-line Excitation (PME) method in collaboration with colleagues including Nobel Prize Laureate Robert F. Curl, Jr., PhD. Based on the concept that DNA sequencing could be greatly improved with this instrumentation, LaserGen was formed to develop PME while also searching for other areas of improvement in the sequencing space.
In 2005, LaserGen scientists realized that important structural changes to reversible terminators could allow for a faster, more accurate chemistry. This discovery resulted in the development of Lightning Terminators which enable faster, cheaper, and more accurate genome sequencing than any existing technology. We are currently commercializing a sequencing platform to take advantage of the specialized nature and unleash the potential of the Lightning Terminators.
Ideally situated in the Texas Medical Center in Houston, LaserGen has had the opportunity to work with top scientists in nucleotide chemistry and genomics. In addition to the initial PME collaboration, we have participated in strategic collaborations, technology development, and license agreements with both Baylor College of Medicine and Rice University.
LaserGen is funded through small business and research grants from the National Human Genome Research Institute, the Texas Emerging Technology Fund (TETF), and several angel investors.
Michael L. Metzker, PhD – Founder
Dr. Metzker has 20 years of experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, as well as with leading academic institutions. He is an Associate Professor of Molecular & Human Genetics at the Human Genome Sequencing Center at Baylor College of Medicine, and Adjunct Associate Professor of Chemistry at Rice University. Dr. Metzker has served as an expert witness for several criminal cases involving HIV-transmission, presenting a breakthrough method of phylogenetic analysis of HIV-1 DNA sequences, which resulted in multiple convictions. He has also served as an expert witness for several law suits related to infringement and interference in the NGS field. During his career, he has held senior- level research positions with Merck Research Laboratories and Applied Biosystems (now Life Technologies). He received his PhD at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, has published over 40 research papers in leading scientific journals, authored numerous book chapters, and obtained multiple patents.