NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Institutes of Health expects to spend as much as $31.7 million to support a genomics consortium in Africa, specifically by funding research projects, enhancing the continent's 'omics talent pool, building up its science infrastructure, and connecting studies and data through an international research network.
Three new grants under the Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) program, which is led by the National Human Genome Research Institute and The Wellcome Trust, will fund projects that create collaborative centers and research projects that advance the goals of the program. It also will provide funding to launch one or two biorepositories to support Africa-based genomics.
One new program will provide up to $8.5 million over four years for the H3Africa Collaborative Centers, which will involve two or more collaborations with investigators from outside the applicant institution.
The Collaborative Centers will house research that will apply genomics approaches to understand genetic and environmental contributors to diseases that affect Africa. They also will provide training and career development to young scientists in this area.
Another grant opportunity will provide up to $5.6 million over four years to support research projects that pursue one or more of H3Africa's main goals of gaining a better understanding of human gene- environment contributors to disease.
The funding will award grants of up to $350,000 per year for studies within the H3Africa program's research scope. The range of research approaches is wide, and could include studies focused on genetic and environmental contributors to communicable and non-communicable diseases in Africa, the contribution of the human microbiome to African diseases, Mendelian diseases, and pharmacogenomics-based projects that focus on genetic factors responsible for differences in drug efficacy and susceptibility among Africans.
Another grant program will provide up to $1.6 million for one or two grants to develop plans for and establish one or two biorepositories that will support the H3Africa Consortium. As much as an additional $16 million will be provided in a follow-up phase to scale up and operate the biorepository.