Institute for Genome Sciences
The Institute for Genome Sciences (IGS) expects its 2012 budget to stay flat at last year’s $30 million level. Of that total, $18 million came from grants and contracts secured by researchers, while the rest came from seed funding and other sources. IGS generated $3.5 million of its revenue from its core lab, with industry accounting for about 10% of that revenue, Lori McKay, IGS senior administrator, told GEN.
After four to five years of rapid growth, “we will continue to go up, but it will be incrementally,” McKay continued. “I don’t see anything coming down the pike that would increase our revenues substantially.”
In terms of research focus, Luke J. Tallon, scientific director of the Genomics Resource Center at IGS, told GEN, “we’re going down a couple of different paths. One is looking more at host-pathogen interaction. So we’ve done a lot of sequencing of human pathogens, both bacterial and viral and parasitic. But we’re now starting to look much more at the human hosts, and how genetic variations and things can affect infectious diseases and the outcomes.
“And then we’re also looking at diseases that are not infectious, things like cancer or other conditions that are not the result of a pathogen, and how host variation can play a role in the outcome of those.”
IGS plans on upgrading its sequencing equipment. The institute recently decommissioned its Illumina Genome Analyzer sequencers, bought a second Illumina HiSeq, invested in Illumina’s MiSeq, and is carrying out beta testing of Pacific Biosciences’ RS sequencing system. IGS was among several institutions to beta test the C2 upgrade to the RS system. C2 consists of new chemistry, enhanced nanofabricated consumable substrates, and improved software.
The institute will add to its 22 PIs by hiring two new faculty members in 2012. Each, in turn, will bring to IGS their own assistants. “I would say we will probably increase this year by about 10 employees,” McKay noted.