Sequencing impact at the University of Missouri
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Executive Summary: It would be an understatement to say that "next-generation" sequencing technology has been revolutionary. Over the last 10 years, sequencing has created a paradigm shift in biological sciences where more and more a component of research involves "just sequence it". This is because the types of data, applications and resulting insights are expanding every year. Further, the volume and speed of data generation are growing exponentially, while the costs to generate these data are decreasing exponentially. The Human Genome Project completed the first draft genome sequence in 2001 at an estimated cost of $3 billion. Next-generation sequencing became mainstream around 2007 and enabled the re-sequencing of a human genome at a cost of approximately $50,000. In late 2015, Illumina announced the availability of their X10 sequencer for use on non-human samples enabling the re-sequencing of a mammalian (human, cow, dog etc.) genome for approximately $1,500 and with an annual throughput of 10,000 genomes per year. The ease, rapidity and cost effectiveness of generating sequence data has created a computational analysis bottleneck. The growth of computational resources on the MU campus has not kept pace with the growth in data generation capability. In order for Mizzou to maintain a competitive research environment, we need to expand the computational resources available for bioinformatics analysis of large data which include sequence data. It will require an initial investment of $619,000 in early 2016 to build the needed core infrastructure and will require ongoing funding to maintain and expand this infrastructure. Initial investments (cost share of $231,000) made by Mizzou in 2005 to bring next-generation sequencing to this campus have been returned many-fold. Based on a survey sent to MU researchers in November 2015, a total of 66 grants have been awarded involving sequencing for a total of $87.5M. $7.6M of that is directly attributable to sequence data generation/analysis. In addition, another $7.9M in grant funding has been submitted and remains pending. This research has led to 173 refereed journal articles in top-tier journals producing over 6,000 citations. Additionally, 19 M.S., 62 Ph.D. and 21 postdocs have been trained as a result of these sequence related research projects. Plant and animal researchers at MU have been at the forefront of the next-generation sequencing revolution. However, based on the diversity of grants and papers gathered by the survey, sequence analysis provides a common foundation that ties together many disciplines on campus. As such, investment in computational capacity directed at sequence data analysis will serve the entire campus and provide technological ties between disciplines. The following is a detailed description of the history of sequencing/bioinformatics, a description of the computation resources required, and a model for sustainability and an analysis of the impacts of next-generation sequencing at Mizzou.
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