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Claire Lonsdale

Sequencers for soldiers: battlefield genomics.

About Claire Lonsdale

Claire Lonsdale is a Senior Scientist at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory. She has a BSc in Microbiology and a PhD in the microbiology of the Human colon. Her work at Dstl has involved extensive research in the areas of molecular biology and sequencing. Current work involves evaluating and developing new techniques and devices for their ability to identify pathogens in environmental samples and diagnostic matrices. Claire’s interests include taking such technologies from the lab to the field and enabling users with little laboratory experience to use them effectively.


Why does the military need sequencing, and how will they use it? Recent advances in DNA sequencing technology, such as the Oxford Nanopore MiNION, could transform a previously cumbersome and fixed-location task into a truly mobile prospect. The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory works both to develop its own scientific solutions and to integrate the innovations of the wider community into fieldable technologies for defence and security. My presentation will explore some of the work Dstl is doing to overcome some of the current limitations and how we could apply this work to some example scenarios. I will explore sample collection such as our man-worn aerosol samplers and larger scale environmental collectors. I will discuss our work to develop a simple DNA extraction device, which can be operated whilst wearing bulky personal protective equipment. I will discuss what we need to do to complete a system and how you can help us achieve this.

Claire Lonsdale

Claire Lonsdale