The principal investigators, centers, and dollar amounts (totaling $163 million in FY 2004) are: Douglas Smith at Agencourt Bioscience, for $10 million; Richard Gibbs at Baylor College of Medicine, for $35 million; Eric Lander at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for $59 million; Craig Venter at the Institute for Genome Research, for $10 million; and Richard Wilson at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, for $49 million.
Funding for FY 2005 and 2006 are expected to be $163 million and $133 million, respectively.
The mandate of the sequencing network is to use high-throughput, automated methods to sequence a set of animal genomes totaling as many as 54 billion base pairs. The primary mission is to produce a publicly available resource of high quality genome sequences. A secondary goal, according to the NHGRI, is to drive improvements in sequencing efficiency and costs.
Target organisms will be selected for sequencing by working groups, established by the NHGRI, who will choose organisms based on whether finding their sequence will advance knowledge in one of the following areas: understanding the human genome, understanding the genomes of major biomedical model systems, and evolutionary biology of genomes.
Organisms currently on the NHGRI's "high priority list for sequencing" include: the cow, the South American gray, short-tailed opossum, the red flour beetle, the acorn worm, and several others. Details of these upcoming sequencing projects are still being worked out.