The J. Craig Venter Institute has a tradition of offering professional development and educational opportunities for students, science professionals, and educators, as well as non-science professionals. The Institute has been actively engaged in training and professional development for 25 years, serving hundreds of students worldwide.


JCVI’s training philosophy revolves around a mix of not only lecture-based seminars, but also hands-on training in both the wet lab and in silico computational environments. Each training course and workshop is designed and scaled to engage the attendees at their own level, from high school students all the way to seasoned biomedical researchers and medical clinicians. Further, it is always a goal for the students to take home the ability to apply their lessons at their home facilities. To that end, practical exercises are performed on real data, and JCVI frequently shares virtual machine images and instructions for setting up the same data analysis pipelines and tools that were employed during training sessions. Students are also encouraged to contact their JCVI instructors if they require any downstream consultations.

The longest running continual training program in the Institute has been funded by the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), under the current Genome Center for Infectious Disease cooperative agreement (GCID), and its predecessor contracts, the Genome Sequencing Center for Infectious Disease (GSCID), and Microbial Sequencing Center (MSC). The GCID has made a concerted effort to offer not only in-person training in developing countries, but also to multiply the reach and efficiency of the workshops by broadcasting sessions on the internet. Highlights of GCID training and outreach include:

Training Highlights

Advanced Genomics, Metagenomics, and Bioinformatics Workshop

Held at the University of the West Indies campus in St. Augustine, Trinidad & Tobago, participants included 60 individuals from Trinidad, England, Guyana and Barbados. On-line participants were from all over the world including Gambia, Ethiopia, Kenya, India, USA, and the Caribbean. Topics covered included emerging tropical viral diseases, metagenomics and bacterial genomics analysis, and proteomic studies.

ICMR Sequencing and Informatics Workshop

Five senior level clinicians from the Indian Council for Medical Research and representatives from NIAID visited the JCVI in La Jolla, CA for an in-depth workshop. The workshop covered much ground, starting with hands-on wet lab lessons on library construction and sequencing on both the Illumina and Oxford Nanopore platforms, and progressed through assembly and data analysis. Through the entire session, a special focus was on antimicrobial resistance detection as this is a growing threat in India.

See a complete history of the NIAID/JCVI outreach program.