Welcome to UC Santa Cruz

For 50 years, we’ve been blazing a trail of bold, progressive inquiry that benefits both the individual and the planet. We work across disciplines and pursue original research into the most pressing issues of the day. No university in the world has a faculty research citation rate higher than ours.

Our “Who Says?” campaign showcases some of the breakthrough achievements that have been the hallmark of the University for 50 years.

UC Santa Cruz Genomics

Who says you need a medical school to defeat cancer?

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UC Santa Cruz is globally respected for its impartiality, openness, collaborative ethos, and prowess in genomic data analysis.

Our unique expertise in genome interpretation, molecular pathway analysis, comparative genomics and evolution, and genomics data visualization has been transformative in biomedicine.

In 1985 Robert Sinsheimer, a highly distinguished biologist and UC Santa Cruz chancellor, convened a group of leading scientists to discuss the feasibility of sequencing the human genome. That historic workshop on our campus planted the idea for what became the Human Genome Project, the international effort to decipher the entire set of genetic instructions for human life.

That vision became reality 15 years later when the UC Santa Cruz team led by David Haussler pieced together the DNA of the first human genome and posted it on the Internet. Key to that breakthrough was computer code written by then-graduate student Jim Kent. This was the precursor to the UCSC Genome Browser, which Kent designed and directs.

In the past decade, research based on the genome has increased exponentially, due in large part to the UCSC Genome Browser, a dynamic tool and gateway for scientific discovery. In 2012 the National Cancer Institute (NCI) selected us to house the data for its genomic programs. The resulting UC Santa Cruz Cancer Genomics Hub was the first Trusted Partner of the National Institutes of Health for distributing patient genomics data that require restricted access due to privacy concerns. It is the world’s largest distributor of patient genomics data for scientific research.

Software engineers and bioinformatics scientists at UC Santa Cruz are now designing and building the next-generation global platform for sharing genomic data. The platform includes open-source application programming interfaces, privacy and security protocols, and innovative genome analytics.