LOS ANGELES, Nov. 5 (GenomeWeb News) - NHGRI will announce on Friday the awardees of its next generation of large-scale genome sequencing grants, the agency's director Francis Collins told reporters at a small press conference during the American Society for Human Genetics meeting here today.
Collins said the agency's peer-review process of applicants resulted in the selection of a group of sequencing facilities and an allocation of funds that "should allow for the draft sequencing of another 18 vertebrate genomes similar in size to our own [to be completed] in three years."
Though Collins said details of the announcement, such as dollar amounts and awardees' names, are under embargo until Friday, industry insiders have been buzzing since September about the NHGRI review committee's decision. Sources inside two of the facilities that were notified several weeks ago by the agency of their peer-review priority scores told GenomeWeb News that NHGRI is awarding large-scale sequencing grants to five institutes. According to those sources, the five are: Agencourt Biosciences, Baylor College of Medicine Human Genome Sequencing Center, Craig Venter's Center for the Advancement of Genomics, Washington University Medical School's Genome Sequencing Center, and the Whitehead Institute Center for Genome Research. Sources
One source said she expects NHGRI to assign the specific organisms and regions to be sequenced by each institute in coming weeks.