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NHGRI, NIMH to Award $3.1M to 'Coordinating Center' for Epidemiological GWA Studies

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Human Genome Research Institute and the National Institute of Mental Health have set aside $3.1 million to create a “coordinating center” to support a previously announced program that will use population-based studies to determine the “epidemiologic architecture” of genetic variants associated with complex diseases.
In a request for applications released Friday entitled “Epidemiologic Investigation of Putative Causal Genetic Variants—Coordinating Center,” NHGRI and NIMH said the coordinating center will serve as “a centralized resource to facilitate and support the investigation, in well-characterized population studies, of genetic variants identified as potentially causally associated with complex diseases in genome-wide association and other genetic studies, with the aim of widespread sharing of the resulting population-based descriptive and association data to accelerate the understanding of genes related to complex diseases.”
The institutes said they plan to award one four-year award of $3.1 million under the RFA.
Letters of intent are due Oct. 19 and applications are due Nov. 19.
The coordinating center will work with three to five projects funded under last week’s solicitation, “Epidemiologic Investigation of Putative Causal Genetic Variants – Study Investigators,” to develop “criteria and methods for identifying highly-replicated, putative causal variants suitable for detailed epidemiologic pursuit within individual population studies,” the RFA said. 
“Vigorous and productive debate will likely ensue on the evidence needed to justify extensive population characterization of a variant, such as number of independent replications, number of subjects studied and consistency of associations, and number or type of traits associated,” the RFA said. “These discussions will provide valuable guidance to the studies participating in this program and to population studies in general.”
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