The McDonnell Genome Institute (MGI) is a world leader in the fast-paced, constantly changing field of genomics.

MGI aims to improve the human condition by producing, studying, and interpreting high-quality genome-based data that drives biological discoveries that range from the bench to the hospital bedside. MGI values the open sharing of information and ideas and encourages collaboration while also engaging the next generation of scientists through educational outreach efforts. 

As part of the Washington University campus, MGI works with Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Siteman Cancer Center, and Washington University School of Medicine.


Since its inception in 1993, the McDonnell Genome Institute has played a vital role in the field of genome sequencing, receiving over $1.3 billion in research funding. The institute began as a key player in the Human Genome Project – an international effort to decode all 3 billion letters of our genetic blueprint – ultimately contributing 25 percent of the finished sequence.

In 2008, the McDonnell Genome Institute became the first to sequence the complete genome of a cancer patient — a woman with leukemia — and to trace her disease to its genetic roots. This has led the way for the institute’s involvement in new personalized medicine research and discoveries.

Today, MGI has taken the COVID-19 Pandemic head on by developing a saliva based test to help detect who has contracted the illness as described in this video.

Learn more about research at MGI »


McDonnell Genome Institute provides an array of services at Washington University for collaborators throughout the world including the Genome Engineering & Stem Cell Center (GESC@MGI), the Mass Spectrometry Technology Access Center (MTAC@MGI), and the Genome Technology Access Center (GTAC@MGI).


MGI collaborates with groups large and small. We have a rich history of major collaborations, managing large, complex projects, guiding research, and disseminating data through our well-established sharing and outreach pipelines. Multiple projects are referenced in present publications and continue to build the future of medicine.

We are also available for “one-off” projects for smaller collaborations and are open to consult on any project.

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