ESR’s genomic science encompasses microbial, human, meta and forensic genomics, transcriptomics and epigen omics.


Ngā huingaira / Genomics

ESR’s genomic science encompasses microbial (a complete sequence of a given microbe's genetic code), human, meta (the study of the genetic material recovered directly from environmental samples) and forensic genomics, transcriptomics (analysis of the RNA transcripts) and epigen omics (study of the complete set of epigenetic modifications on the genetic material of a cell).

Genomics Aotearoa Consortia(external link)

ESR is a partner in Genomics Aotearoa, a science platform supporting advanced genomics research in New Zealand. It is an alliance between New Zealand Universities and Crown Research Institutes which provides a collaborative platform that grows New Zealand’s capability, builds international connections, and develops tools and technologies to support genomics research. ESR's involvement in Genomics Aotearoa includes

Microbial Genomics

  • Viral detection in wastewater - most notably at the moment for Covid-19 screening
  • Neisseria meningitidis.(external link)
  • Clinical Metagenomics led by Matt Storey. Collaboration with Dr Max Blomfield, Wellington SCL based at the Wellington Hospital.

Human Genomics

  • Clinical Exomes (SSIF) - project co-lead by Miles Benton and Donia Macartney-Coxson. ESRs Human Genomics team is collaborating with clinicians and surgeons at Wellington Hospital (Capital and Coast DHB) with the aim of bringing the benefits of lower cost, quicker turn-around sequencing to aid in clinical decision making.
  • Epigenomics and Social Systems in Metabolic Disease - project co-led by Donia Macartney-Coxson (Epigenomics) and Mat Walton (Social Systems). This is a Healthier Lives(external link) He Oranga Hauora National Science Challenge Healthier Lives - National Science Challenge aligned research project. The epigenomics work focuses on DNA methylation, transcriptomics and small non-coding RNA and their role and utility as biomarkers in metabolic diseases - on particular obesity and type-two diabetes. The social systems aspect aims to understanding what makes a successful community led intervention.
  • Epigenetics for equitable cardiovascular risk prediction.(external link)
  • Affordable, disruptive sequencing for community empowerment (external link)- project which pairs the disruptive nature of Nanopore sequencing alongside affordable compute (Nvidia Jetson Xavier), making the genomics accessible to all.


  • The presence of an unwanted microorganism could lead to damaging and expensive recalls, and erosion of trust in your product and brand. Our scientists will ensure the best possible results for NZ business by providing information you can use to identify food safety and quality issues that could otherwise prove potentially serious.
  • GenomESR (external link)can provide surety in obtaining confidential results to identify and characterise isolates (microorganisms) from food, health, water and environmental samples.
  • GenomESR uses next-generation sequencing technology to determine the entire DNA make-up of a microorganism – commonly referred to as the genome sequence. By analysing the genome sequence, we can accurately identify the microorganism and we can also compare the genome sequence of the microorganism with similar microorganisms of interest (known as ‘sub-typing’).


  • DNA databank
  • miRNA markers for Concussion ESR SSIF project. Co-led by Rachel Fleming and Donia Macartney-Coxson. A collaborative project with Dr Sam Holdsworth and her Team at Mātai Te Mata Mātai Hura