Diversifying the Human Genome and advancing cutting-edge genomics research

The UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute, an institute of the Baskin School of Engineering, is a leader in genomic research. Genome sequencing and the applications of genomics in clinical medicine have been a major focus of the institute's researchers. In addition to medical applications, researchers at the institute are using genomics to understand the evolution of life on Earth and to inform efforts to conserve and protect endangered species.

The many achievements of the institute’s faculty and researchers include being the first to publish a working draft of the human genome on the world wide web; the invention of nanopore technology that enables single-cell, long-read sequencing; advancing precision medicine with discoveries about RNA’s role in disease; creating a platform for sharing childhood cancer genomic data, and leading the Genome 10K Project.

The Genomics Institute, and its close collaborators, recently received $38 million in funding, through a combination of two NIH grants and a private, anonymous gift. The former includes funds to establish the Center for Human Reference Genome Diversity, while the latter will establish the Healthier World Fund and will support the institute’s pioneering interdisciplinary research.

Genomics Institute researchers are doing important work to understand cancer and other diseases, develop global data-sharing standards, inform conservation efforts, and much more," said Alexander Wolf, dean of the Baskin School of Engineering. "By employing computational methods in combination with laboratory experiments, which has long been a strength of Baskin Engineering, the Genomics Institute is making huge strides in areas that will benefit humankind.


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Diversifying the human genome:
New grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) totaling approximately $29.5 million will enable scientists at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and other collaborating institutions to generate and maintain a completely new and comprehensive reference sequence of the human genome that represents human genetic diversity.

Anonymous gift will establish the Healthier World Fund:
UC Santa Cruz has received an anonymous gift of $8.5 million to support the Genomics Institute’s pioneering interdisciplinary research. The gift establishes the Healthier World Fund for the UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute.


David Haussler, director of the Genomics Institute

David Haussler, director of the Genomics Institute