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NHGRI to Fund New Functional Genomics Tools

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Human Genome Research Institute will provide up to $10.8 million in grants next year to fund three new programs that will support investigators seeking to develop new high-throughput technologies for identifying, validating, and characterizing sequence encoded elements in eukaryotic genomes.

The goal of the new grant program is to build upon and enhance the developments from the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) Project by stimulating development of novel technologies and to expand the available tool box of methods for identifying and testing these genomic elements.

These grants will fund development of efficient technologies, both experimental and computational, that have the promise to generate revolutionary tools in a number of areas, including, but not limited to high-throughput genome-wide experimental methods for finding functional elements that reduce the cost of genome-wide assays and lower the sample size needed in single cell assays; high-throughput methods for biological validation and characterization, such as functional assays for testing large numbers of sequence-encoded elements and assays to identify physiologically relevant targets; and computational methods for characterizing functional elements, such as ways of integrating functional genomics data to assign elements to biological functions.

Under one of the programs, NHGRI expects to commit up to $5 million in fiscal 2012 to fund between 10 and 14 R21 exploratory/developmental research grants with a total of $275,000 each for two years.

The institute also has committed $750,000 next year to fund up to three awards under its Small Business Innovation Research program for Phase I or Phase II grants.

Another NHGRI program will provide up to $5 million next year to fund 10 to 14 awards for research projects that will last up to three years.

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