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NCI to Fund Biomarker Studies for Hematopoietic Malignancies

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Cancer Institute plans to fund research that will use a range of 'omics technologies to develop and validate biomarkers for malignancies of the blood under two new grant programs.

NCI will use five-year R01 and two-year R21 grant mechanisms to support scientists developing genomic, proteomic, epigenomic, and transcriptomic delivery and development methods, as well as the use of standardized biospecimens for validation studies.

These studies also may focus on development of specific technologies that will be used to detect or improve the quantitation of the novel biomarkers of hematopoietic malignancies.

The R01 grants will vary in size and scope, and the R21 program will provide up to $275,000 in direct costs over a two-year period, with single-year costs limited to $200,000.

NCI said in its funding announcement that the program is part of the NCI Strategic Plan to continue to discover the genetic, molecular, and cellular determinants of cancer susceptibility and to develop diagnostic, preventative, and treatment technologies. The grants will fund a variety of research efforts, NCI said, but specific topics of interest include monoclonal gammopathy of uncertain significance, autoimmune diseases, myelodysplastic syndromes, primary and secondary immunodeficiencies, as well as radiation and chemotherapy treatments.

According to NCI, "the need for novel, specific, and portable biomarkers" for hematopoietic malignancies is "more urgent now than ever before."

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