About the J. Craig Venter Institute
The J. Craig Venter Institute was formed in October 2006 through the merger of several affiliated and legacy organizations — The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) and The Center for the Advancement of Genomics (TCAG), The J. Craig Venter Science Foundation, The Joint Technology Center, and the Institute for Biological Energy Alternatives (IBEA). Today all these organizations have become one large multidisciplinary genomic-focused organization. With more than 400 scientists and staff, more than 250,000 square feet of laboratory space, and locations in Rockville, Maryland and San Diego, California, the new JCVI is a world leader in genomic research.
For more than two decades Dr. J. Craig Venter and his research teams have been pioneers in genomic research. The revolution 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. Dr. Venter and his colleagues then started a new kind of not for profit research institute, The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR). With the freedom to pursue any number of exciting avenues in the burgeoning field of genomics, the team decided to use their new computing and computational tools, as well as new DNA sequencing technology, to sequence the first free living organism, Haemophilus influenzae in 1995. With this advance, the floodgates of genomics were opened. TIGR went on to sequence and analyze more than 50 microbial genomes. Dr. Venter and some from his team moved into mammalian genomics and sequenced some of the most important model organisms including the fruit fly, mouse and rat. The world’s attention was perhaps most keenly focused on the sequencing and analysis of one genome — the human — which was published in 2001 by Dr. Venter and his team at Celera Genomics.
At the JCVI, we’re not content to rest on our laurels. In the past three years teams have been engaged in some of the most fruitful and exciting research in the biological sciences. We’ve recently published the first diploid human genome and the initial results of our global ocean sampling expedition which uncovered more than six million new genes and thousands of new protein families from organisms found in sea water. Teams have also sequenced the microbial flora found in human environments such as the vagina, oral cavity and human gut. We’re making steady progress in our quest to create a synthetic chromosome and organism having successfully transformed one species of bacteria into another. We’ve also sequenced a variety of important infectious disease agents such as the mosquito species, Aedes aegypti, and we are working to understand the evolution of several viral genomes such as influenza and coronavirus in our quest to help alleviate the scourge of infectious disease around the world. 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.