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NIDDK Marks $20M for Type 1 Diabetes Gene Studies

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases will spend $20 million over five years to fund fine mapping and other studies of genes that may be involved in type 1 diabetes.
NIDDK seeks to support scientists who are studying replication and fine mapping of genetic regions that are putatively associated with type 1 diabetes. The institute also intends to fund studies that apply new technologies to the genetics of type 1 diabetes.
Genome-wide association studies of this disease have shown promise, according to NIDDK, but in order to provide follow-up support the institute aims to support these studies of genetic regions. Studies of these genes will help to understand disease risk, help define etiological pathways, and identify potential leads for new therapeutic targets.
NIDDK expects to fund between four and ten awards ranging between $1.5 million and $5 million, with total direct costs of up to $5 million over the five years.
NIDDK stated in a call for applications that it hopes to bring together scientists experienced in genetics, immunology, and biochemistry to conduct fine mapping and to study the functions of genes in order to understand how changes in the genes can affect type 1 diabetes. Studies of these genes and genetic changes could lead to predictive strategies for individuals suffering from the disease, as well as personalized drug treatment regimens.
NIDDK will consider various types of studies that address its needs. Researchers could seek to identify specific genetic variants that influence type 1 diabetes risk, which could be prioritized, and gene-to-gene interactions could be studied as well.
This research also could include association analysis mapping, including sequencing and resequencing regions, or by constructing high-density SNP maps. Scientists also may study methylation patterns in dinucleotides in regulatory regions of genes that appear to affect gene expression in type 1 diabetes. Investigators also could propose conducting analysis in families of paternally/maternally expressed genes that are likely candidates for diabetes susceptibility.
More information about the NIDDK’s program, “Fine Mapping and Function of Genes for Type 1 Diabetes,” is available here

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