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JCVI Breaks Ground on its New Home at UCSD

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The J. Craig Venter Institute held a ground-breaking ceremony Tuesday afternoon for what will be its new West Coast research facility, located on the campus of the University of California, San Diego.

Scheduled to open its doors in 2013, the new 45,000 square-foot home for JCVI will house wet labs and computational facilities, and will be able to support 125 scientists and staff, JCVI said in a statement.

JCVI currently has one temporary facility located near UCSD that houses 60 researchers, and at its East Coast headquarters in Rockville, Md. the institute keeps a staff of around 240.

"The building is a unique design that will meld the environmental philosophies of our genomics research with the sustainability goals that I believe must be part of all of our lives,” said J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., founder and president of JCVI.

The building is expected to be a "net-zero energy" research lab that uses solar power, natural lighting and ventilation, rainwater harvesting, low-water landscaping, recycled materials, and other features to increase its sustainability.

Scientists at the facility will pursue a wide range of projects within the institute's purview, including research involving human genome sequencing and analysis, synthetic genomics, and environmental genomics.

Some of these studies will involve collaborations with UCSD, the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, and other partners.

Currently, some of JCVI's studies involve research into microbes in the ocean, soil, and human body, synthetic biology efforts to develop microbes to solve environmental and human health problems, improving individual genome sequencing, and stem cell genomics.

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