September 27, 2022  |  Corporate news

2022 HiFi for Accuracy SMRT Grant winners

HiFi for Accuracy Logo with images of technical applications

PacBio is pleased to present the recipients of this year’s HiFi for accuracy SMRT grant.

At PacBio, we are driven to create the most accurate genomic sequencing technologies so that you can forge new frontiers in genomics. HiFi sequencing technology enables 15 kb reads with Q30 accuracy for generating the most complete, contiguous, and correct assemblies of some of the most complex genomes on the planet.

Through the SMRT Grant program, PacBio awards free HiFi sequencing services to outstanding research proposals that have the potential to advance scientific knowledge across the full spectrum of sequencing applications.

We are grateful for the generous support of the Arizona Genomics Institute, Genomics WA, and the Uppsala Genome Center. Without these exceptional partners, this year’s HiFi for Accuracy SMRT Grant would not have been possible.

The winning investigators of 2022

We are proud to present the three recipients of our 2022 HiFi for Accuracy SMRT Grant and are excited by the promise of their research.

This year’s HiFi for Accuracy SMRT Grant received hundreds of submissions and a wide array of innovative ideas. We selected three outstanding winners from around the world who intend to reveal nature’s secrets, from the mysteries of cancer biology to the evolution of spiders. These are the winning proposals for 2022:



Shiro Fujita, MD, Ph.D.,
Department of Respiratory Medicine
Kobe Central Hospital, Japan


Exploring genetic predisposition in overlapping cases of non-small cell lung cancer and thyroid cancer without a history of smoking


Research has shown us that never-smokers are more likely to have papillary thyroid cancer than those with a history of smoking among women with non-small cell lung cancer, implicating predisposing factors other than tobacco smoke in the onset of these cancers (Fujita S, et al. Intern Med 2015) (Fujita S, et al. Sci Rep 2021). Shiro Fujita’s team applied for this SMRT Grant in order to use PacBio long-read sequencing to explore germline structural variants in genes related to DNA mismatch repair in patients suffering non-small cell lung cancer and papillary thyroid cancer.


Troy LoBue
Auburn University, USA



Studying SVs in African American breast cancer


African American (AA) women have higher breast cancer rates before the age of 40 compared to other ethnicities and are disproportionately diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer. Inherited genetic risk factors are likely playing a role, yet AA hereditary breast cancer has been understudied. Using PacBio HiFi sequencing, Troy LoBue and team will carry out WGS on AA individuals from the Alabama Hereditary Cancer Cohort and perform case/control association tests to identify variants that increase AA inherited breast cancer risk. HiFi sequencing will be used to provide more precise and efficient variant identification, increasing the potential of discovery of new genetic risk factors associated with cancer.


Yannis Schöneberg
Universität Trier, Germany



Sequencing a living fossil to understand spider evolution


The genus Heptathela represents the most primitive family of extant spiders, having diverged ~400 million years ago. These “living fossils” are unique in that they belong to the only family retaining the plesiomorphic segmented abdomen and all four pairs of spinnerets, which other spiders have lost. A Heptathela genome would offer researchers unprecedented insights into the evolution and origins of important spider genes, including spidroin and venom genes. However, this has been challenging due to its large size and complexity. Yannis Schöneberg hopes that HiFi sequencing will bring this extraordinary and essential genome within our grasp.


These exceptional research proposals beautifully showcase the myriad of ways in which the length and accuracy of HiFi sequencing can be used to answer some of the most challenging and intriguing questions in biology. If you’re interested in obtaining the explanatory power of HiFi sequencing to open new avenues of inquiry in your research program, consider applying for one of multiple SMRT Grants.

Once again, congratulations to all our winners!

About the SMRT grant program

Interested in free sequencing? Learn how to apply for your chance to win.

The SMRT Grant program offers scientific investigators the opportunity to win free HiFi sequencing services for their research projects.

Grants are offered across all areas of the life sciences. Whether you are studying intricate microbiomes, complex plant polyploids, rare and endangered species, or the dark regions of the human genome – there is a grant available for you.

If you would like to apply, simply select an open grant program aligned with your field of study, read the instructions, fill out the application, and succinctly tell us how your research will benefit from HiFi sequencing. Applications are evaluated, and once a winner has been awarded they will be contacted by our experts to coordinate with an approved sequencing service provider to receive free consumables, library prep, HiFi sequencing, and initial bioinformatic analyses.

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