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Europe Plans $12.4M for Pathogenomics Consortia

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – A European Commission consortium said today that it plans to pump as much as €8.5 million ($12.4 million) over the next three years into its international effort to fund genomic studies of human pathogens and to develop ways to combat them.

In its third funding call, the ERA-NET PathoGenoMics project will support multinational studies involving researchers from at least three partner nations, and it will include participants from academia, industry, and clinics. Some of the funding will be reserved specifically to support projects led by young scientists.

The research will focus on development of diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics aimed at fighting infectious diseases, and on advancing knowledge about the organisms that cause them and the process of infection.

"Despite great advances in medicine during recent years, infectious diseases still pose a serious and increasing threat for public health, both due to the development of resistance to antibiotics and other anti-infective drugs and because of the spread of pathogens via global travel," explained Marion Karrasch-Bott, ERA-NET PathoGenoMics' coordinator.

"Pathogenomics, the genome-based research on pathogenic microorganisms, can make a significant contribution to counter this threat," Karrasch-Bott added.

The PathoGenoMics initiative already has implemented two previous joint calls, in 2006 and 2008, each with total budgets exceeding €16 million.

The first call focused on basic research and funded 12 transnational consortia, and the second focused on translating basic studies in to clinical and industrial applications, and funded 13 consortia.

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