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NIH Roadmap Launches Epigenomics Grants

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Institutes of Health has launched its epigenomics initiative with a slew of new grants to be administered under its Roadmap plan.
The “Technology Development in Epigenetics” program will grant a total of $3.5 million to between four and eight investigators over a two-year period. This grant aims to spur development of innovative new tools that will “significantly change the way that epigenetics research can be performed.”
A sibling “Technology Development in Epigenetics” initiative will grant another $3.5 million to fund between three and five programs to develop tools that are more mature. Both of these technology grants are intended to focus on the application of epigenetics to disease studies, diagnosis, and prevention.
Another grant will support the creation of “Reference Epigenome Mapping Centers” using $10 million in funds each year for five years. The NIH expects to issue between three and five awards under this grant. These programs would aim to develop reference epigenomes from human embryonic stem cells, human differentiating and differentiated cells, cell lines, and tissues.
Another program will provide $1.5 million each year for five years to one grantee to develop and implement an “Epigenomic Data Analysis and Coordinating Center” that would support the Reference Epigenome Mapping Centers. This center also will be responsible for transferring standardized data to the National Center for Biotechnology Information for banking and for public use.
The “Discovery of Novel Epigenetic Marks in Mammalian Cells” program will provide up to $3.5 million for each of three years, and NIH expects to fund between four and six investigators or centers. The goal is to “establish and validate novel pathways of stable, differential silencing and activation of gene expression in mammalian cells.”
A companion program of the same title will provide a total of $3.5 million over each of two years to between five and eight recipients. NIH said this program aims to discover novel pathways of stable, differential silencing and activation of gene expression in eukaryotic organisms that may be applicable to human disease pathogenesis.”

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