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Burroughs Wellcome Fund Provides $3M in Grants for Preterm Birth Studies

By a GenomeWeb Staff Reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Burroughs Wellcome Fund's board of directors has approved five grants totaling $3 million for research into the biological complexities of premature births.

Included are three grants for genomic-directed research.

According to the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, about 13 percent of births in the US are premature with rates among African-Americans and obese populations even higher. The goal of the fund is to help develop preventive measures by enabling collaborations among interdisciplinary research teams to learn more about preterm births, the private foundation, based in Research Triangle Park, NC, said in a statement.

The grants being awarded are for $600,000 each and last four years.

The Baylor College of Medicine was awarded a grant for a project entitled, "Contributions of maternal-fetal-mitochondrial genome and microbiome interactions to preterm birth." The research is being led by Kjersti Aagaard. The Texas Children's Hospital will be collaborating with her on the project, the school said in a separate statement.

Also receiving a grant was Julie Baker at Stanford University for research entitled, "Genomic networks that guide trophoblast invasion and disease," and Jeffrey Murray at the University of Iowa for "Genomic signatures of gene expression and alternative splicing in preterm birth."

Mala Mahendroo at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas received a grant for "Assessment of cervical ripening by sodium magnetic resonance imaging," and Indira Mysorekar at Washington University was awarded a grant for "Occult infections in the etiology of preterm birth."

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