Press Release

J. Craig Venter Institute Key Member of Team Awarded up to a 5-Year, $23 Million Contract from National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for Renewal of Bioinformatics Resource Centers for Infectious Diseases Viral Project

ROCKVILLE, MD and LA JOLLA, CA – November 11, 2014 – Scientists from the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), a not-for-profit genomic research organization, are key members of a team recently awarded up to a 5-year, $23 million contract by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) for the Bioinformatics Resource Centers (BRC) for Infectious Diseases Viral Project.

The JCVI-Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation-Vecna Team continues as lead organizations on this renewal of the team’s BRC project that began in 2004, and will continue to develop and augment the Influenza Research Database (IRD, www.fludb.org) and the Virus Pathogen Resource (ViPR, www.viprbrc.org). Richard Scheuermann, Ph.D., JCVI’s Director of Informatics, is the Principal Investigator on this award.

IRD and ViPR are comprehensive human pathogenic virus databases, along with the computational and visualization tools, that enable scientists worldwide to conduct research into the control and eventual elimination of these pathogens. The list of pathogenic viruses contained in these public databases includes: Influenza, Ebola, Dengue, SARS/MERS, Hepatitis C, Chikungunya, and enterovirus D68.  The IRD/ViPR websites each week attract more than 2,000 unique users from 170 countries. Research compiled from these sites has contributed to more than 270 scientific publications.

“We are very pleased to continue our work on this important NIAID project. The Viral Bioinformatics Resource Center project complements the strengths in viral genomics, pathogenesis and vaccine production at JCVI and is an essential aid to researchers tackling the new and emerging biological threats the world faces today,” said Scheuermann.

Other JCVI researchers working on this project include Brian Aevermann, Alexandra Lee, Doug Greer, Yun Zhang, Lucy Stewart, Tim Stockwell, and Reed Shabman. Researchers from University of Auckland, University of California, Davis; Harvard Medical School; University of Maryland, College Park; Purdue University; University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston are all co-investigators on this award. Vecna Technologies is a subcontractor.

This project is fully funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health & Human Services under Contract No. HHSN272201400028C.

About J. Craig Venter Institute

The JCVI is a not-for-profit research institute in Rockville, MD and La Jolla, CA dedicated to the advancement of the science of genomics; the understanding of its implications for society; and communication of those results to the scientific community, the public, and policymakers. Founded by J. Craig Venter, Ph.D., the JCVI is home to approximately 250 scientists and staff with expertise in human and evolutionary biology, genetics, bioinformatics/informatics, information technology, high-throughput DNA sequencing, genomic and environmental policy research, and public education in science and science policy. The JCVI is a 501 (c)(3) organization. For additional information, please visit http://www.JCVI.org.

Media Contact

Heather Kowalski