NEW YORK, July 2 (GenomeWeb News) - The Broad Institute has been awarded a $75 million, five-year contract from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to establish a microbial sequencing center, the institute said earlier this week.
The center will sequence genomes of over 100 different fungi, viruses, bacteria, parasites, and invertebrate disease vectors involved in emerging or re-emerging diseases or those that are considered agents of bioterrorism, according to the Broad Institute, a Cambridge, Mass.-based collaboration between Harvard, MIT, and the Whitehead Institute. Only non-hazardous DNA samples will be used at the laboratory, the institute said.
Bruce Birren, director of Broad's Genome Sequencing and Analysis Program, will head up the new center.
"These sequences will help fill a huge gap in understanding these organisms and the diseases they cause by equipping investigators with the information they need to explore transmissibility, immunogenicity, virulence and drug resistance, " Birren said in a statement.
Birren and other scientists at the Broad Institute have been collaborating with infectious disease researchers to identify candidate organisms for sequencing under this program, the institute said. The NIAID is also calling upon investigators to submit white papers for sequencing projects at the Broad, or at the Institute for Genomic Research. Click here for more information, or contact the Broad's Microbial Sequencing Center at [email protected].