Influenza Genome Sequencing Project



The NIAID-funded Influenza Genome Sequencing Project is a collaborative effort designed to increase the genome knowledge base of influenza and help researchers understand how flu viruses evolve, spread, and cause disease.

The sequencing effort, conducted in part by the NIAID Genomic Center for Infectious Diseases at the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), is revealing complete genetic blueprints of thousands of known human and avian influenza viruses. NIAID will rapidly make this sequence information publicly available through GenBank (an international, searchable online database funded by the National Institutes of Health) and the Influenza Research Database (a web-accessible collection of genetic sequence information accompanied by data analysis tools).


By putting critical genome knowledge in the public domain, project leaders hope to provide researchers with the infrastructure needed to develop new vaccines, therapies, and diagnostics, and improve understanding of the overall molecular evolution of influenza and other genetic factors that determine their virulence.

Such knowledge could not only help mitigate the impact of annual influenza epidemics but also could improve scientific knowledge of the emergence of pandemic flu viruses.

Potential collaborators with viruses to sequence are encouraged to submit a reagent request (see next section).

Sequencing Request Process

A proposal describing the viruses to be sequenced can be submitted to NIAID for review and approval. Completed proposal forms can be emailed to Maria Y. Giovanni,, and Eun Mi Lee,

Data and Reagent Sharing and Release Policies

NIAID policy for releasing project data

Project Status

As of May 2, 2014, more than 16,000 human and avian isolates have been completely sequenced.

Viral Samples Being Sequenced

Additional sample and collaborator information available at J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI)

Influenza Research Database

The Influenza Research Database integrates a variety of influenza research data and analysis tools into a single comprehensive site. Examples of publicly available data provided by the database include avian and human surveillance data, genomics, experimental epitope information, data from assays of virulence, transmission, and host range.

NCBI Influenza Virus Resource

Presents data obtained from the Influenza Genome Sequencing Project and GenBank, combined with tools for flu sequence analysis and annotation. In addition, it provides links to other resources that contain flu sequences, publications and general information about flu viruses.


NIAID Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (DMID)

Maria Y. Giovanni, NIAID Associate Director for Genomics and Bioinformatics; Director, DMID Office of Genomics and Advanced Technologies
Eun Mi Lee, Health Specialist
Diane Post, Respiratory Diseases Program Officer

National Center for Biotechnology Information

David Lipman, Director
Yiming Bao, Viral Genome Specialist

J. Craig Venter Institute

Karen Nelson, President
William Nierman, Professor
Suman Das, Associate Professor

Content last reviewed on October 17, 2014