NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Human Genome Research Institute has awarded eleven grants worth a total of more than $13 million to develop technologies that will lower the cost of DNA sequencing.
The agency has a near-term goal of lowering the costs of sequencing a mammalian-sized genome to $100,000, and to eventually cut the cost of whole-genome sequencing to $1,000 or less. Lowering the cost will make genome sequencing possible as part of routine medical care, NHGRI said.
Nine grants fund researchers developing technologies that will make the $1,000 genome possible and two grants for researchers working on the $100,000 mammalian genome:
- General Electric Global Research received $900,000 over two years to use existing enzyme and dye-tagged nucleotide resources. NHGRI will increase the phased award if specific milestones are met.
- University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, received $3.8 million over four years to use nanoscale fluidic technologies to rapidly sequence single DNA molecules.
- University of California, San Diego, received $275,000 for genome sequencing using nanoarrays of single DNA molecules. The process involves cyclic sequencing by ligation. NHGRI will increase the award if specific milestones are met.
- Boston University received $2.2 million over three years to use design polymers and nanpore arrays to develop high-throughput DNA sequencing.
- Helicos Biosciences received $2 million over three years to develop a strategy of obtaining short reads from DNA strands immobilized on a surface inside a reagent flow cell.
- Lehigh University received $905,000 over three years to apply force spectroscopy to DNA.
- Arizona State University received $895,000 over three years to fabricate universal DNA nanoarrays using nano-contact printing.
- Case Western Reserve University received $815,000 over three years to develop large-scale nanpore arrays.
- University of Washington, Seattle, received $605,000 over two years to also use nanopore sequencing, but will tailor an alternative protein pore, Mycobacterium smegmatis porin A.
- The Human Genome Sequencing Center at Houston’s Baylor College of Medicine received $500,00 to improve its fluorescent nucleotides to sequence large-scale genomes.
- Intelligent Bio-Systems received $425,000 to develop a high-speed, massively parallel DNA sequencing system using unique base analogues and the sequencing by synthesis approach.
Since 2004, NHGRI has awarded $83 million to investigators to develop both near-term and next-generation sequencing technologies.