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NIH to Fund Pediatric Biorepositories for e-MERGE Network

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Institutes of Health plans to commit $1.6 million next year to support pediatric biorepositories with electronic medical records and genome-wide genotyping data to become part of NIH's Electronic Medical Records and Genomics (eMERGE) network.

The funding from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development will provide up to $500,000 per year over three years for pediatric repositories to provide support for Phase II of the eMERGE network. The network is expanding in its second phase to incorporate genomic and phenotyping data and privacy protection methods into clinical research.

Pediatric study investigators funded under these grants would join the eMERGE network in the spring of 2012.

The eMERGE Phase II pediatric research sites will conduct comprehensive research that will incorporate genomic findings into clinical care. They will develop innovative approaches to identifying children with high genetic risks or pharmacogenetically important variants, define testing approaches for return of clinically relevant genetic search results, expand the electronic phenotyping library, and improve analytical methods and tools for use with genotyping platforms.

To support these activities, the eMERGE biorepositories will expand and validate the eMERGE electronic phenotyping library from 14 to 40 phenotypes. The biorepositories also will share expertise and experience within and outside the eMERGE network with the goal of raising the standards for genomics research in biorepositories.

Soon after the funding is awarded, the eMERGE Phase II Pediatric Study investigators will join the network's steering committee and will help to set goals and proposed milestones for the program.

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