About J. Craig Venter Institute
Pioneering Genomics to Positively Impact Life
The J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) is a world leader in genomic research with approximately 100 scientists and staff who are bold innovators fearlessly pursuing revolutionary ideas. With a long track-record of creativity and an interdisciplinary approach to genomics, JCVI is committed to accelerating foundational scientific research to drive advances in human health and environmental sustainability.
Designing and constructing cells and pathways to develop new medicines and renewable fuels.
JCVI researchers continue their legacy of success with countless new breakthroughs: the first synthetic cell, the first diploid human genome, discovery of more than 60 million new genes from the Sorcerer II Global Expedition, seminal work in cataloguing the human microbiome (all the microbes that live in and on the human body) and important research into a variety of infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance. These are just a few of the many research areas our team is tackling as we seek to make a worldwide impact with our science.
J. Craig Venter Institute is registered as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions to J. Craig Venter Institute are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. J. Craig Venter Institute’s tax identification number is 52-1842938.
JCVI is advancing the science of genomics through bold innovations. Our mission is to understand more about the biological world, and to develop unique insights and answers about disease, health, and the environment for the benefit of all.
JCVI has research facilities in La Jolla, California, and Rockville, Maryland with over 62,000 square feet of lab and office space.
For more than three decades Dr. J. Craig Venter and his research teams have been pioneers in genomics. Groundbreaking advances began in 1991, when at the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Venter and his team developed expressed sequence tags (ESTs), a new technique to rapidly discover genes. Then, in 1992 this team left NIH to start a new kind of not-for-profit research institute, The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR), the forerunner to the J. Craig Venter Institute. Now, with the freedom to pursue any number of exciting avenues in the burgeoning field of genomics, they use their new computing and computational tools, as well as new DNA sequencing technology to lead the genomic the genomic revolution.
Whole-cell computer simulation model
JCVI scientists and collaborators developed the most complete whole-cell computer simulation model to date of the minimized synthetic cell, JCVI-syn3A, that accurately predicts the growth and molecular structure of its real-life analog.
COVID-19 variants evade antibodies
JCVI scientists and collaborators have shown that people who were infected with the original D614 SARS-CoV-2, as well as those vaccinated, have reduced protection against the Beta and Omicron variants compared to the original D614 virus and Delta variant.
Southern Ocean algae blooms
Climate change and iron availability may drastically alter algae blooms in the Southern Ocean, trapping vast nutrients. Potential shifts in diatom population may have profound effects on global nutrient distribution and carbon cycling.
Human salivary protein wiki
The new wiki on salivary proteins may transform diagnostic testing and personalized medicine. The database curates information on inner workings of saliva, an attractive tool for noninvasive diagnostics and precision medicine.
Modern cell division
JCVI scientists and collaborators identified 5 genes of previously unknown function which are used in cell division by nearly all modern bacterial species. Identifying these genes is an extension of decades of synthetic biology advances at JCVI, expanding on our understanding of the first principles of life.
Coronavirus infects mouth cells
An international team of scientists has found evidence that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, infects cells in the mouth. It was previously known that the upper airways and lungs are primary sites of SARS-CoV-2 infection, there are clues the virus can infect cells in other parts of the body, such as the digestive system, blood vessels, kidneys and, as this new study shows, the mouth
Iron processing in algae
JCVI and collaborators have mapped how iron is processed in Phaeodactylum tricornutum, a model marine diatom. Diatoms are among the most abundant type of algae found in oceans worldwide contributing up to 40 percent of organic carbon production each year in the sea. Diatoms rapidly consume large amounts of nutrients, fueling some of the most efficient and environmentally vital food webs.
Influenza A virus discovered in heart muscle tissue
JCVI scientists discovered that Influenza A virus is found in heart tissue after it has been cleared from the lungs in mouse models. Undetected, the virus continues to disrupt mitochondrial function, causing a metabolic breakdown and promoting cell death.
Mouth is primary source of COVID-19 infection and spread
A team of researchers show the mouth is a robust site for infection and transmission of COVID-19. Coronavirus can take hold in the salivary glands where it replicates, and in some cases, leads to prolonged disease when infected saliva is swallowed into the gastrointestinal tract or aspirated to the lungs where it can lead to pneumonia.
Secondary infections in influenza A patients
An influenza-impacted upper respiratory tract microbiome may invite opportunistic bacterial pathogens
COVID-19 virus portal
JCVI’s NIAID funded open bioinformatics database and analysis resource for virology research, ViPR, added a special portal for the novel coronavirus to support research and help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
Early detection of disease and disease risks
By integrating whole genome sequencing, metabolomics, and advanced imaging for 1,109 presumed healthy people, researchers for JCVI and HLI found 17% with previously undiagnosed genetic disease risk and when combined with deep phenotyping 11.9% had results supporting clinical diagnosis of a genetic disorder.
Phage treatment for alcoholic liver disease
JCVI and UC San Diego develop phage treatment as potential cure for alcoholic liver disease by targeting specific toxin-producing strains of the bacterium, Enterococcus faecalis, which is shown to be responsible for most liver damage.
Unique ways diatoms metabolize nitrogen
A team of collaborators led by scientists from the J. Craig Venter Institute discovered that diatoms, a diverse type of photosynthetic microalgae, are unique in almost every aspect of nitrogen metabolism when compared to other eukaryotic organisms.
JCVI and UChicago consolidate resources, establishing the new Bacterial and Viral Bioinformatics Resource Center (BV-BRC) to provide scientists with data and tools to aid in stopping or preventing the spread of viral or bacterial pathogens.
Top 100 in Microbiology
Results from JCVI’s NASA astronaut microbiome publication were included in Nature Scientific Report’s special collection of “Top 100 Downloaded Papers of 2019.”
Obesity-related disease risk
A team of academic and corporate collaborators have found a new way to use distinct molecular “signatures” from people with obesity to predict risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease, an advance that could broaden the way doctors and scientists think about diagnosing and treating disease.
Domoic acid decoded
JCVI scientists and collaborators discovered genetic basis for toxic algal blooms that cause significant economic and environmental damage to coastal communities around the world.
Scientists identify a new kind of human brain cell
‘Rosehip’ neurons not found in rodents, may be involved in fine-level control between regions of the human brain
Center for Single Cell Genomics
JCVI researchers, with funding from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, launched the Center for Single cell Genomics to improve our understanding of the cellular complexity of biological systems. The Center focuses on exploring the cellular complexity of the human brain, identifying abnormal cells driving autoimmune disease, and discovering the cellular determinants of effective vaccine responses.
Biological mechanism disrupted by ocean acidification
A team of scientists demonstrated that the excess carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere interferes with the health of phytoplankton which form the base of marine food webs. A mechanism widely used by phytoplankton to acquire iron requires carbonate ions. Rising concentrations of atmospheric CO2 are acidifying the ocean and decreasing carbonate. This loss of carbonate affects the ability of phytoplankton to obtain enough of the nutrient iron for growth.
Past encounters with flu shape vaccine response
Immune history influences vaccine effectiveness, interacting with other potential problems arising from the manufacturing process. New research on why the influenza vaccine was only modestly effective in recent years shows that immune history with the flu influences a person's response to the vaccine.
Accelerating development of universally effective influenza vaccines
JCVI takes part in The Human Vaccines Project’s Universal Vaccine Initiative, a program that addressed the underlying scientific barriers preventing the development of universal influenza vaccines.
Optimizing metabolic networks in diatoms
Building on a series of recent landmark studies, JCVI-led team sets out to overcome current limiting efficiency bottlenecks to promote production of high-value, fuel-related metabolites., enabling next-generation biofuels and bioproducts.
Forbes’ 100 Greatest Living Business Minds
Dr. J. Craig Venter was honored as one of Forbes’ “100 Greatest Living Business Minds.”
Algae-based biofuels breakthrough initiative
JCVI scientists collaborate to develop low-cost, rapid-analysis technologies for pond microbiota and data collection on the impacts of pond ecology so they can cultivate efficient methods for increased algal productivity.
Research by JCVI scientists and a team of collaborators provided basic but essential information about how diatom chromosomes are replicated and maintained.
Dr. J. Craig Venter elected to National Academy of Medicine
Dr. Venter’s election was a significant honor and recognition of his “outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service in the fields of health and medicine.
As part of the USAID Grand Challenge to Combat Zika, JCVI has proposed to speed development of Zika diagnostics through the rapid identification of peptides.
Engineered 16S rRNA
Teams at JCVI and SGI successfully engineered 16S rRNA using a one step process that combined CRISPR/Cas9 systems and yeast recombination machinery.
Human Vaccines Project Launches San Diego Research Hub
JCVI joins the “Mesa Consortium,” a new scientific hub, with the intent to transform understanding of the human immune system and to expedite the development of new vaccines and biologic to treat global diseases.
First minimal cell
Scientists from JCVI and SGI designed and constructed the first synthetic minimal bacterial cell.
Popular stem cell techniques deemed safe
A team of scientists from JCVI and Scripps Research Institute concluded that using stem cells in a clinical setting was unlikely to pass along any cancer-causing mutations to patients.
Key genes in Toxoplasma gondii parasite outlined
International team shed light on the worldwide diversity and virulence of one of the most prevalent parasites affecting mammals in the world.
International team deciphered the genome of the Ixodes scapularis, the deer tick or blacklegged tick, which could lead to new tick control methods
Zoo in You: The Human Microbiome
A traveling bilingual exhibition exploring the complexities of the human microbiome. It was created in partnership between JCVI and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI).
Policy paper: DNA synthesis and biosecurity
JCVI-led policy group published a report focusing on the lessons learned and options for the future in the field of DNA synthesis and biosecurity.
Advancing microbiome research
An interdisciplinary group of US scientists announce formation of an initiative to advance microbiome research. The group intends to coordinate areas of microbial research and make funding recommendations to federal agencies, private foundations, and corporate partners.
Inconsistency in microbiome studies shown
Scientists from JCVI and Human Longevity, Inc. published paper highlighting the inconsistencies of microbiome studies. The team compared four common library prep methods and found significant differences in types of microbes uncovered and showed biases in error and duplication rates.
Health Nucleus launched
Human Longevity, Inc. opened the Health Nucleus, welcoming its first patients, using whole-genome sequencing and analysis, state of the art imaging technology, and proprietary algorithms to provide the most complete and accurate clinical health summary available at the time.
A team of scientists, including JCVI researchers and collaborators, outlined a new in-depth view of microbial relationships in Southern Ocean phytoplankton blooms.
Microalgae engineering advancements
JCVI scientists published a paper outlining efficient synthetic biology methods to genetically engineer microalgae.
Researchers shed light on how ‘microbial dark matter’ might cause disease
Breakthrough by scientists from UCLA, J. Craig Venter Institute and U. of Washington may be roadmap for study of other elusive bacteria.
Bioinformatics resource renewal
JCVI key member of team awarded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) for the renewal of Bioinformatics Resource Centers (BRC) for Infectious Diseases Viral Project. The project includes further development of the Influenza Research Database (IRD) and the Virus Pathogen Resource (ViPR).
JCVI research impact
JCVI was ranked in the top 1% of research institutions worldwide for research impact based on an analysis of Elsevier and Thomson Reuters data. The ranking was done by looking at institutional publication reach as seen through the number of citations referencing them.
Genomic Center for Infectious Disease
The JCVI Genomic Center for Infectious Diseases (GCID) was established the funding from NIAID. The GCID applied innovative genomics-based approaches to study pathogens and their virulence, drug-resistance, immune evasion, and interactions with the host advance research in pathogenicity, disease transmission, and vaccine development.
Policy report on oversight of synthetic biology technologies and organisms
JCVI-led policy group published a report on the challenges and options for oversight of synthetic biology technologies.
Human Longevity, Inc.
Dr. Venter co-founded Human Longevity, Inc. to further his decades-long pioneering work in human genomics. He and his teams from JCVI and HLI built one of the world’s largest and most robust databases of genomic and phenotypic data and published more than 20 studies furthering the field.
California’s Stem Cell Agency genomic initiative
In collaboration with U.C. San Diego, the Scrips Research Institute, Illumina, and U.C. Santa Cruz, JCVI scientists set out “to gain a deeper understanding of the disease processes in cancer, diabetes, heart disease and mental health, and ultimately to try and find safer and more effective ways of using stem cells in medical research and therapy.”
First sustainable biological laboratory
JCVI opened the doors to its new headquarters, the world’s first fully sustainable biological laboratory building, on the UCSD campus in La Jolla, CA.
Life at the Speed of Light
J. Craig Venter published his second book, Life at the Speed of Light, in which he discussed the emerging field of synthetic genomics, detailing its origins, current challenges, controversies, and projected effects on our lives.
Expanding genomics research in Africa
Through the NIH H3Africa program, JCVI and a team of international collaborators worked to build out genomic research capacity at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia to study tuberculosis.
Genomic Scholars Program
JCVI launched the Genomics Scholars Program (GSP), a long-term internship designed to help community college students with a science focus transition to four-year colleges. All students who have completed the program to date have successfully transitioned to a STEM major at an accredited four-year college.
Healthy aging biomarkers
The Ruggles Family Foundation and Mr. and Mrs. Rudy L. Ruggles, Jr. funded a study aimed at identifying and elucidating healthy aging biomarkers.
The Roddenberry Foundation provided a $5M grant to JCVI to continue research into new wastewater treatment technologies, including microbial fuel cells to clean wastewater and improve sanitation and water accessibility in the developing world.
Synthetic influenza vaccine
JCVI scientists and a team of collaborators published new methods for the synthetic generation of influenza vaccines.
Mobile lab to San Diego
JCVI’s DiscoverGenomics! mobile laboratory moved to San Diego to provide students and teachers an opportunity to learn current bioscience concepts and master the use of the cutting-edge laboratory equipment found in life science research facilities.
Dr. J. Robert Beyster and Betty J. Beyster make $2.5M pledge to the J. Craig Venter Institute
Hospital sink pathogen
Venter Institute-led team recovers and sequences genome of periodontal pathogen from biofilm in hospital sink using single-cell genomics.
Southern African genomic diversity
A research team led by JCVI scientists published a study that uncovered additional details on the genomic diversity of several southern Africa populations. These populations are some of the oldest human lineages but are also some of the most genetically diverse because of the influx of outside non-African populations.
10,000 influenza genomes
Scientists, including a team at JCVI, sequenced and published more than 10,000 Influenza genomes as part of NIAID's Influenza virus Genome Sequencing Project, and developed algorithm to help predict the optimal composition of future flu vaccines.
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Marine Microbiology Initiative
JCVI’s Andy Allen among cohort of investigators tapped to pursue high-risk research in marine microbial ecology.
JCVI researchers, as part of NIH Human Microbiome Project Consortium, published four papers detailing the variety and abundance of microbes living in humans.
JCVI sequenced the salmon genome using next-generation technologies to create a high-quality reference genome for the management of wild salmon stocks and the salmon aquaculture industry.
JCVI scientists, along with international team of researchers, sequenced the genome of an important model legume, Medicago.
J. Craig Venter Institute breaks ground in La Jolla
LEED Platinum Certified sustainable laboratory facility will be California’s first, built on the UC San Diego campus.
Tasmanian devil genome
JCVI and collaborators at Penn State University to sequenced and analyzed the genome of the Tasmanian Devil (Sarcophilus harrisii), a species under threat.
South African human genomics and prostate cancer in indigenous populations
JCVI and the University of Limpopo in South Africa entered an agreement to expand ongoing research collaborations in human genomics and prostate cancer in indigenous African populations.
JCVI scientists, along with an international team of researchers, uncovered new insights into evolution of diatoms and discovered evidence for a urea cycle used to metabolize carbon and nitrogen.
137 marine microbial genomes compared to Global Ocean Sampling sequences
The results give clearer insights into life near the ocean surface by showing that the microbes, called picoplankton, can be classified into two main groups that are very different in their genetic make-up, physical qualities, and metabolic abilities.
Identifying bacteria responsible for dental cavities
Using DNA sequencing, scientists set out to identify the bacteria responsible for dental carries. At the start of the study, only 800 of the thousands of microbes in the human mouth had been identified.
Synthetic Genomics Vaccines, Inc.
Synthetic Genomics, Inc. and JCVI form new company, Synthetic Genomics Vaccines, Inc. (SGVI), to develop next generation vaccines.
Vaginal microbiome and preterm birth
Using metagenomic approaches, JCVI scientists and collaborators explored how the microbial balance in the vaginal microbiome relates to urogenital infections and preterm birth.
Castor bean genome
JCVI and collaborators published the sequence and analysis of the castor bean (Ricinus communis) genome, an important oilseed crop. The availability of the castor bean genome also has important biodefense implications since the plant produces the powerful toxin, ricin.
Body louse genome
JCVI and collaborators sequenced and analyzed the body louse genome. Comparative studies revealed features that will enhance our understanding of the relationships between disease-vector insects, the pathogens they transmit, and the affected human hosts.
178 human microbial reference genomes
JCVI scientists, along with consortium members of the NIH's Human Microbiome Project, sequenced 178 microbial reference genomes associated with the human body.
First self-replicating synthetic bacterial cell
Venter and his team of JCVI and SGI scientists constructed the first synthetic bacterial genome. Using a computer code and four bottles of chemicals, Venter's lab assembled the largest man-made DNA structure by synthesizing and assembling the 582,970-base-pair genome of a bacterium.
Hydra genome sequenced by JCVI and collaborators, marking a major step toward understanding the molecular “toolbox” of the animal kingdom's earliest common ancestors.
National Medal of Science
J. Craig Venter was awarded the National Medal of Science by President Obama.
Rapid bacterial chromosome engineering
JCVI researchers clone and engineer bacterial genomes in yeast and transplant genomes back into bacterial cells. New methods allow for the rapid engineering of bacterial chromosomes and the creation of extensively modified bacterial species; also, a key step in boot up of a synthetic cell.
Genomic Center for Infectious Diseases
JCVI awarded a $43M, five-year contract from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to provide genomics resources that are responsive to the needs of the global infectious disease community.
Algae genes shed light on managing carbon
Scientists from two-dozen research organizations have decoded genomes of two algal strains, highlighting the genes enabling them to capture carbon and maintain its delicate balance in the oceans.
Reading the epigenome
International team of researchers developed new tool to elucidate the epigenome. The technology may have application for personalized cancer therapies.
J. Robert Beyster and Life Technologies Foundation research voyage of the Sorcerer II Expedition
In its third phase, having successfully completed a global circumnavigation, the Sorcerer II research team, embarked on the waters of Europe to explore microbial life in the waters of the world's largest seas isolated from the major oceans: the Baltic, Mediterranean, and Black Seas.
JCVI scientists and a team of collaborators published the complete genomes of all known human rhinoviruses, the family of viruses that cause the common cold, and are a major cause of emergency room visits for patients suffering from asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Chromosomal alterations in cancer
Using transcriptome sequencing approach, researchers from JCVI and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (LICR) have uncovered new genomic alterations that lead to gene fusions in a breast cancer cell line.
Significant advance in genome assembly technology
JCVI researchers made a significant advancement in genome assembly in which the team can now assemble the whole bacterial genome, Mycoplasma genitalium, in one step from 25 fragments of DNA.
First pennate diatom genome
The genome of Phaeodactylum tricornutum has been sequenced and analyzed by a team international team of researchers. It is only the second diatom and the first of the pennate class to be sequenced and published. Hundreds of bacterial genes found in the genome.
First synthetic bacterial genome
JCVI scientists construct largest chemically defined structure synthesized in the lab. The team has completed the second step in a three-step process to construct a synthetic cell.
NIH launches Human Microbiome Project
JCVI among team tapped by NIH to explore microbial communities living in and on the human body that play a role in maintaining health or causing disease.
A Life Decoded
J. Craig Venter published his first book, “A Life Decoded: My Genome, My Life.”
Synthetic genomics policy report
JCVI-led team published a major policy report that outlined the safety and security concerns posed by new synthetic genomics methods and technology as well as options for governance.
Human diploid genome
JCVI team published the first complete human diploid genome, that of Dr. Venter, which encompassed both sets of chromosomes from each parent.
Bacterial genome transplantation
JCVI’s synthetic genomics team made an important breakthrough in transforming one bacterial species into another through genome transplantation.
Aedes aegypti (mosquito) genome
JCVI scientists publish draft genome sequence from Aedes aegypti, the mosquito responsible for yellow fever and dengue fever. Its genome larger and more complex than fruit fly and mosquito species that carries malaria.
J. Craig Venter named as Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.
Global Ocean Sampling circumnavigation
Aboard the Sorcerer II, JCVI scientists and crew circumnavigated the globe for more than two years, covering a staggering 32,000 nautical miles and visiting 23 different countries and island groups on four continents, discovering more than six million new genes, thousands of new protein families, and an incredible degree of microbial diversity.
2,000 influenza genomes
Scientists publish complete genomes of more than 2,000 human and avian influenza viruses taken from samples around the world and made available in a public database.
Landmark study on human gut microbiome
Karen Nelson, Ph.D., and her team at TIGR published the first major human microbiome study, radically changing the way we look at human health and the role the microbes that inhabit each of us play in disease.
Comparative sequence analysis of Bacillus anthracis, the bacterium that causes anthrax
Study examined at B. anthracis Ames Ancestor and a set of diverse B. anthracis strains.
Microbes in soil and bovine digestive system
JCVI and the government of Victoria, Australia collaborated to study microorganisms found in agriculturally significant soil and the digestive systems bovine with the aim to better understand overall species diversity and develop new technology.
Vaccine targets identified for deadly cattle disease
East Coast fever, a tick-borne disease, rages across a dozen countries in eastern and central Africa causing significant economic harm to small farmers.
Critical disease pathways
JCVI scientists and collaborators initiated resequencing and genotyping research to more rapidly identify disease pathways of heart, lung, and blood diseases, as well as sleep disorders, ultimately enabling discovery of targeted therapeutics.
Community Cyberinfrastructure for Advanced Marine Microbial Ecology Research and Analysis (CAMERA) established at UC San Diego, in partnership with JCVI, as a state-of-the-art computational resource to decipher the genetic code of communities of microbial life in the world's oceans.
Mobile lab for students
DiscoverGenomics! Mobile Lab, a modified motor coach, outfitted with advanced laboratory equipment, electricity, running water, and network capabilities delivered science concepts and equipment directly to students in the DC metro area from 2006-2011 to over 60 middle schools.
TIGR scientists sequenced the genome of the mold Aspergillus fumigatus, which lurks across much of the world. It is the most common mold causing infection, triggering allergic reactions, asthma attacks, and even deadly infections among people with weakened immune systems.
Dog genomes compared
TIGR researchers compared the genome sequences of two dogs, a standard poodle and a boxer. They took these results and compared them to genetic variations in nine additional breeds and five wild canids (four types of wolves and a coyote).
Influenza genome evolution
In the first large-scale project to sequence the influenza virus, TIGR researchers report on how rapidly evolving the flu virus is in a human population, offering a new strategy for surveillance.
Genetic mutations in brain tumors
Scientists from JCVI, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, and The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine identified three novel mutations in two receptor tyrosine kinases in glioblastoma tumors using high throughput sequencing. The mutations provide the potential for highly targeted cancer therapies.
Following a six-year effort, an international research team, including TIGR, announces the completion of the rice genome.
The Jeremy Norman Collection
JCVI acquired The Jeremy Norman Collection (now called the J. Craig Venter Institute History of Molecular Biology Collection). The archive includes correspondence, galley proofs, photographs, and laboratory notebooks from renowned scientists, such as Sydney Brenner, Francis Crick, Max Delbrück, Rosalind Franklin, Aaron Klug, Linus Pauling, Max Perutz, Maurice Wilkins, and James Watson.
Marine microbe subzero survival
TIGR scientists and collaborators unravel the genome of Colwellia psychrerythraea 34H, finding key biochemical tools that cold-adapted bacteria use to survive in frigid environments.
Three deadly parasites
TIGR scientists and collaborators decipher and compare the genomes of three parasites, causing Chagas disease, African Sleeping Sickness, and Leishmaniasis. The parasites share about 6,200 genes, pointing to the potential of fighting them all with a new generation of drugs.
Theileria parva parasite genome
The genome of T. parva, a parasite responsible for East Coast fever—which kills a million cattle a year in East and Central Africa—has been sequenced.
Synthetic Genomics, Inc. (SGI) founded
J. Craig Venter launched SGI with the goal of leveraging enormous archives of genomic sequence data and integrating novel processes to design, build, and test synthetic organisms for specific industrial applications.
Policy Study: risks and benefits of synthetic genomics
JCVI, the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), announced a new project to examine the societal implications of synthetic genomics, a new field involving the development of viruses and cells using designed and engineered DNA.
JCVI launched a pilot project to better understand the diversity of microbes in urban air. Its goals included deeply characterizing the microbes we breathe and to providing information vital to designing systems that detect potentially dangerous biological substances in the air.
Three Wolbachia genomes
Sifting through open-source fruit fly sequence data, TIGR scientists discovered the genomes of three new types of the microbe Wolbachia, one-celled organisms which live as endosymbionts within fruit flies.
100 key marine microbes
JCVI launched a project to sequence the genomes of more than 100 key marine microbes stored in culture collections around the world. Analyzing these genomes will help scientists understand the chemical transformations that occur within the major biogeochemical cycles vital to life. The data will also provide a baseline for interpreting the millions of new genes being discovered by the Global Ocean Sampling (GOS) expedition.
Cryptococcus neoformans parasite genome
TIGR scientists and collaborators sequenced the genome of two closely related strains of Cryptococcus neoformans, a fungus whose importance as a human pathogen has risen in parallel with the HIV/AIDS worldwide epidemic and the increased use of immunosuppressive therapies.
Malaria parasite evolution
In an innovative project with implications for malaria vaccine development, scientists have used genomics, proteomics, and gene expression studies to trace how malaria parasites evolve on a molecular level as they move between their hosts and insect vectors.
Genome comparison of four Campylobacter strains
In a study that could benefit medical and food-safety research, scientists have used comparative genomics tools to find clues about why some strains of the bacterium Campylobacter — which each year cause more than 400 million cases of gastrointestinal disease — are more virulent than others.
TCAG, IBEA, and JTC merge
Legacy organizations The Center for the Advancement of Genomics (TCAG), the Institute for Biological Energy Alternatives (IBEA), and the Joint Technology Center (JTC) merged to become the new J. Craig Venter Institute.
Sargasso Sea Sampling Expidition findings
Dr. Venter and his team published the results from the Sargasso Sea pilot project. During their voyage, the team discovered 1,800 New Species and 1.2 million new genes, including nearly 800 new photoreceptor genes.
IBEA researchers published biologically active genome of phi X 174
The genomic synthesis of the 5,386 base pair bacteriophage, phi X 174 (or ΦX174) was an important first step toward the goal of a completely synthetic genome.
Venter and his team published the first draft sequence of a dog genome.
Sargasso Sea Sampling Expedition launched
Dr. Venter and his expedition team set out to evaluate the microbial diversity in the world's oceans using the tools and techniques developed to sequence the human and other genomes. The successful completion of this piolet project set the stage for the Sorcerer II Global Ocean Sampling Expedition that launched in 2004.
Joint Technology Center
JCVI legacy not-for-profit organizations supported by the J. Craig Venter Science Foundation announced construction of a next generation, high-throughput DNA sequencing facility in Rockville, Maryland—the Joint Technology Center (JTC). The approximately 40,000 square foot facility housed over 100 automated DNA sequencers, and complimentary supercomputing, networking, and high-performance storage technologies.
J. Craig Venter elected to the National Academy of Sciences
Dr. Venter was honored in recognition of his distinguished and continued achievements in original research in both medical genetics, and biochemistry.
TCAG, IBEA, and JCVSF formed
Dr. Venter left Celera to form The Center for the Advancement of Genomics (TCAG), Institute for Biological Energy Alternatives (IBEA), and J. Craig Venter Science Foundation (JCVSF) — a family of not-for-profit research organizations dedicated to tackling a variety of genomic research areas.
TIGR and an international consortium of scientists developed a comprehensive physical map of the mouse genome, an important resource for identifying both mouse and human genes.
An international consortium of scientists, including TIGR and Celera set out to sequence the genome of the laboratory rat, an important physiological model in research programs designed to understand, treat, and prevent many human diseases.
The human genome publication
The first draft human genome was published in the journal, Science, in conjunction with the federally funded human genome project published in Nature. The first draft human genome comprised DNA from 5 individuals, totaling 14.8 billion base pairs. It took 9 months, and 27,271,853 high-quality sequence reads to generate. The Celera genome project cost approximately $300M vs $3 billion for the US and UK government-funded project.
TIGR helped sequence the genome of the anthrax strain mailed in the attacks that killed five people — evidence that eventually led the FBI to the source.
Announcement of the first draft sequence human genome
Venter and his team at Celera announced the completion of the first draft sequence of the human genome on June 25, 2000, during a White House press briefing. President Clinton declared the first draft human genome, “the most important, most wondrous map ever produced by humankind.”
Neisseria meningitidis genome, leading to FDA approved vaccine
TIGR researchers determined the complete genetic blueprint for Neisseria meningitidis, the primary causative agent of bacterial meningitis. This breakthrough was pivotal in developing the FDA approved vaccine, BEXSERO.
Venter team at Celera sequences and publishes the genome of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, an important model organism.
J. Craig Venter, with backing from PE Corporation Biosystems, formed Celera Genomics to sequence the human genome faster and more cost-effectively using new sequencing technology developed by sister company, Applied Biosystems, new computers from Compaq, and new algorithms.
Venter and his team published the first complete genome sequence of an archaea, Methanococcus jannaschii found from a deep-sea vent.
Venter and his team published the first sequenced genome of a free-living organism, the bacterium Haemophilus influenzae.
The Institute Genomic Research (TIGR) formed
Dr. Venter and team left NIH to start new, not-for-profit genomic research institute to test new methodologies, techniques, and tools.
300 human genes discovered using ESTs
Venter-led team at NIH to discovered 300 human genes using a new technique called expressed sequence tags (ESTs).