About J. Craig Venter Institute


The J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) is a world leader in genomic and bioinformatics research fueled by a team-centered, multidisciplinary approach to large research initiatives. JCVI has a long track-record of creative and interdisciplinary approaches to genomics and bioinformatics, and responsiveness to national needs. This longstanding drive to produce groundbreaking research is used as the measure for all new research initiatives at JCVI. With more than 200 scientists and staff located in Maryland and California, the JCVI is one of the largest independent, not-for-profit research institutes in the United States.

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For more than two decades Dr. J. Craig Venter and his research teams have been genomics pioneers. 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. In 1992 this team left NIH to start 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 used their new computing and computational tools, as well as new DNA sequencing technology, to sequence the first free living organism, Haemophilus influenzae in 1995.

circular map of Haemophilus influenzae

A circular chromosome map of Haemophilus influenzae, the first sequenced genome of a free living organism. It illustrates the location of known genes and predicted coding regions.

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 which culminated in the sequencing and analysis of the first draft human genome which was published in 2001 by Dr. Venter and his team at Celera Genomics.

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.