DNA Sequencing – Past, Present and Future

Monday, June 11, 2018 -
2:00pm to 3:00pm
The FUNG Auditorium
Jeffery A. Schloss

Independent Scientist

DNA Sequencing – Past, Present and Future


While we have known about DNA for well over 100 years and its structure for 66, our ability to read the code only developed 40 years ago.  The past 10 years have seen an explosion of genomic information produced by sequencing methods that have become much more widely accessible and cost effective, and have been applied beyond reading of DNA per se to RNA and elucidation of genome function and structure. Application of DNA sequencing in the clinic is becoming routine. This revolution in technology and, as a result, in biology and medicine is being enabled by the creativity, investment, and hard work of research and commercial communities, stimulated by a program promulgated by the National Institutes of Health about 15 years ago. With sequencing costs continuing to fall and the qualities of sequence obtained continuing to rise, the prospects for using these methods to learn about ourselves and our world are very bright.


Jeffery A. Schloss, Ph.D., is experienced in running programs to develop and implement genomic technologies.  He was most recently Director, Division of Genome Sciences, Extramural Research Program, National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), U.S. National Institutes of Health, where he supervised the scientists who were responsible for well-known, productive programs such as NHGRI’s Genome Sequencing Program, ENCODE, 1000 Genomes, $1,000 Genome Technology program, and much of NHGRI’s informatics program, and NIH Common Fund programs including KOMP, LINCS, H3Africa, Protein Capture, and the Human Microbiome Program.  Earlier, as a Program Director at NHGRI, Schloss developed and implemented the program to develop technologies to sequence human genomes at a cost of $1,000, and the Centers of Excellence in Genomic Science; in the early days of the Human Genome Project he managed grants to centers that were building human and model organism physical and genetic maps, and helped initiate the scale-up to HGP sequencing.  Schloss served on numerous trans-NIH and trans-federal-agency programs including the NIH Bioengineering Consortium and the National Nanotechnology Initiative. He was on the biology faculty at the University of Kentucky after a postdoc in the biology department at Yale University and earning the PhD degree in cell biology at Carnegie Mellon University.