JGI Looking Beyond Sequencing to Become 'Cutting Edge' Press Release Generating

JGI Looking Beyond Sequencing to Become 'Cutting Edge' Press Release Generating

Time to have some fun at the cost of JGI :)

A Genome Web press release from today says -

JGI Aims to Move Beyond Sequencing, Become ‘Cutting Edge’ Genomics Facility

which takes you to the 2012 press release -

JGI Looking Beyond Whole Genomes to Epigenetics, Genome Finishing, and Single-Cell Sequencing

Oh well !!


…but seriously, can JGI rebrand itself as a competitive business?

1. Cost structure

We have the JGI numbers from an old commentary on PacBio -

The company is burning 80 million dollars every year at the latest quarterly run rate. With 342 employees, that is $234K per employee. I compared the numbers to JGIs, and Alex Copelands talk was helpful in giving us the number. At $65 million/year and 250 employees, JGIs run rate is $260K/employee. Illumina, at $652 million for 2400 employees, is in the same ballpark $272K/employee.

Are they competitive with BGI? One can argue that the JGI employees are experienced, but the organization will have to either (i) hire many helping hands working for lower pay (cannot compete with universities), or (ii) burn out the experienced people.

2. Technology

Do they have technological edge and will they be able to maintain technological edge? I am not sure. It seems like BGI has developed an edge in NGS algorithms through their collaboration with HKU, whereas JGI did not get much from Berkeley.

3. Business area

Broad has taken over cancer and medical-related sequencing. Also, NY genome center has been set up to take over the same space. Therefore, sequencing human genomes is likely off-limit for JGI.

For plant and other genomes, JGI will have to compete with numerous other burgeoning core facilities, who all has bought their own machines.

Clearly, JGI will have to find some kind of niche area here.

Written by M. //