By Diana Barr, Associate Editor - St. Louis Business Journal
Washington University’s Genome Institute has laid off 54 workers due to a cut in federal funding for such large-scale genome centers.
The university announced the news Friday in its Record in-house publication, saying the layoffs represent some 17 percent of the institute's 327 staffers.
The institute recently found out funding from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) will be cut by about 23 percent to about $28 million from $37.6 million in the next grant period, according to the newsletter. The Washington U. institute's current grant ends Oct. 31.
Washington U. said it's expected that all three such centers funded by NHGRI will see their funding cut.
The Genome Institute has depended on NHGRI funding for about 60 percent of its annual budget, the newsletter said.
Washington U.'s Genome Institute's staff has been as large as 400 in the late '90s and fluctuates based on research funding, but 54 is the largest number of workers to be affected at one time, the Record story said.
Recruiters will meet with affected workers about finding other jobs both within the university and outside, and the university offers counseling and referral services through an employee assistance program, according to the newsletter.