David Haussler, director of the UCSC Genomics Institute, explains a poster of the human genome sequence to Genomics Institute visitors. The Institute plans to host a grand opening celebration for its new headquarters Oct. 18. This invitation-only celebration will offer a peek at the new facilities. The agenda includes remarks from UCSC Chancellor Cynthia Larive, Alexander Wolf, dean of the Baskin School of Engineering and Haussler. (Photo by C. Lagattuta)

The move to 2300 Delaware Ave. coincides with the formal establishment of the Genomics Institute as an Organized Research Unit at UC Santa Cruz

Tim Stephens | UC Santa Cruz | September 3, 2019

Almost 20 years after UC Santa Cruz researchers made history by assembling the first human genome sequence, the campus has formally established the UCSC Genomics Institute as an Organized Research Unit (ORU) providing support for interdisciplinary and collaborative research in genomics across multiple departments and divisions.

The new ORU status coincides with the move of the Genomics Institute’s headquarters over the summer to renovated office and laboratory space in the campus-owned complex at 2300 Delaware Ave. on the west side of Santa Cruz. The Delaware Ave. site now hosts about 80 of the institute’s researchers and technical and administrative staff.

UCSC’s genomics researchers are nationally and internationally recognized as leaders in big data analytics. Their work includes developing platforms and technology to acquire, analyze, store, share, and display huge volumes of genomic data. The institute has become a research powerhouse, with external funding from grants and contracts currently around $25 million per year. This was the projected goal for growth in 3 years, but the Genomics Institute has already reached this level of grants and is now aiming even higher.

The establishment of the Genomics Institute at 2300 Delaware Ave. represents a major step toward the campus’s long-term vision for the complex as a premier research center supporting the campus’s growing research programs and creating greater opportunities for collaboration and innovation.

A former Texas Instruments facility acquired by the university in 2004, the complex has needed extensive renovations, and work on the site is still ongoing. Over the past few years, however, a growing number of research labs have moved in, including several major laboratories in materials science and engineering. Labs for robotics and smart power research are being readied for occupation in the near future, and the Genomics Institute also has plans to develop new laboratory facilities at the site.

“The formal establishment of the Genomics Institute as an ORU, and its relocation to the Delaware research complex, demonstrates the campus’s commitment not only to genomics research, but also to the community of Santa Cruz,” said Alexander Wolf, dean of the Baskin School of Engineering. “A prominent research center on the west side of Santa Cruz will foster beneficial collaborations with the growing Santa Cruz tech industry. We’re very pleased with Baskin Engineering’s pivotal role in this thriving Santa Cruz research and innovation hub.”

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