NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) - The National Human Genome Research Institute today awarded around $30 million to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Stanford University under its Centers of Excellence in Genomic Science program.
The five-year awards will provide around $16 million to Dana Farber to create a new Center of Excellence and around $14 million for an existing center at Stanford.
NHGRI launched the Centers of Excellence in Genomic Science program in 2001. The initiative supports “multi-institution, interdisciplinary teams dedicated to making critical advances in genomic research,” NHGRI said.
The Stanford center, led by David Kingsley, is using the stickleback fish to explore the genomic underpinnings of vertebrate diversity. The Stanford team plans to crossbreed different strains of stickleback fish to produce a genome-wide map that can be used to search for genetic signatures related to adaptive changes in size, shape, body function, and behavior in fish populations worldwide.
Marc Vidal will lead the center at Dana-Farber, which plans to test the hypothesis that both human genetic variations and pathogens can influence cellular networks and cause disease.
The Dana-Farber researchers will analyze network-level disruption and protein-protein interactions in cells caused by particular viruses and will apply the knowledge gained from this exercise to genome-wide variation datasets for related human diseases.
The center’s “ultimate goal” is to develop guidelines for data integration and network prediction with the aim of developing better models to interpret genome-wide genetic variations in the context of human disease, NHGRI said.
In addition to the Dana Farber and Stanford centers, the NHGRI’s Centers of Excellence program supports work at the Molecular Sciences Institute, California Institute of Technology, Harvard Medical School, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Arizona State University, Yale University, and the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
Further information about the program is available here.