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NIH Tweaks Collaboration, Education, and Genetic Test Translation Program

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Institutes of Health is making some funding and other adjustments to a pilot program focused on helping researchers translate genetic tests from the lab to the clinic by promoting collaborations between scientists, clinicians, laboratories, and disease-specific advocacy groups.

Among the changes, the NIH has added funding to compensate researchers for the time investment needed to apply.

Run by the NIH’s Office of Rare Diseases, the Collaboration, Education, and Genetic Test Translation (CETT) Program is aimed at supporting researchers who are developing a new gene or assay technology into a clinical diagnostic test that can be used to diagnose and even manage a disease.

The CETT Program also hopes to give researchers focused on rare diseases help in forming a relationship with a lab and patient advocate groups.

NIH said in a program announcement Thursday that it expects the program to help these researchers focus on research, and not on clinical care or service, and to enhance the knowledge base that is obtained from the collection and storage of clinical data. The program also should help scientists identify new subjects from expanded access to clinical testing and documented findings, and help them provide results to research participants and their families.

Because NIH has realized that building the collaborations needed to apply involves work that previously was uncompensated, all applications for CETT funding received after June 1 qualify for $3,000 in funding to support collaboration development.

NIH also has doubled the funding it gives to applicants for the CETT program from $1,000 to $2,000 for all who have applied after June 1, and it now only requires two versions of educational materials instead of three. Each application received after June 1 also qualifies for $5,000 to support the translation and clinical consultation activities spent by the research member of each CETT Program application.

More information about the changes in the CETT program can be found here.

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