“We are responsible for the world in which we find ourselves, if only because we are the only sentient force which can change it.”James Baldwin

The UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute unlocks the world’s genomic information to drive the next great leap in understanding biodiversity, conservation, and evolutionary biology.

The following links below list some of our focus areas. Click on each one to learn more about them.

& Conservation Genomics

Evolutionary and conservation genomics can help us understand what went wrong with extinct species. Investigating extinct creatures, like the passenger pigeon, can help endangered animals by restoring ancient diversity in currently present groups.

This type of investigation will allow us to become better at supervising our planet. It will also open doors to new ways of improving human health.

Research in Ed Green’s lab explores archaic ancestry in the human genome from our relatives, the Neanderthals and Denisovans.


Genome 10K Project

Banana Slug Genome

UC Santa Cruz is known worldwide for its strong dedication towards genomics research. Specifically speaking, our efforts in sequencing and publishing the human genome.

Currently, we are unraveling the mysteries of our slimy mascot– we are sequencing the genome of the banana slug.


UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute’s sequencing experts Nader Pourmand and Mark Akeson will use advanced technology to extract DNA from a sample, creating long chains of nucleic acids (A, C, T, and G).

UC Santa Cruz undergraduate students will assist them in this method. They take part by helping with sample preparation, sequencing, and developing DNA libraries during the winter quarter.

This will be an incredible opportunity for students to be involved in hands-on research.

During the spring quarter of 2015, UC Santa Cruz faculty members Ed Green and Kevin Karplus led a team of graduate students. Their work consisted of assembling a genome sequence and annotating the data collected from samples.

In the future, their work will make this information more accessible, giving researchers the ability to analyze the extensive amount of data.

The students made considerable progress, and many are continuing through the summer.

There are significant differences between the banana slug, Ariolimax dolichophallus, and its close relatives. The results of this project provide extremely useful insight on species diversity, with a connection to understanding the evolutionary distinctions in reproductive and sexual behavior.

There is not an abundance of information on our unique mascot, but this project will provide extensive knowledge on the slimy species. In addition, this information will contribute to conservation efforts for animals worldwide.

To make this feat a reality, the campus undertook a crowdfunding campaign in October and November 2014 that raised $21,443 from 139 donors.