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NIH Unveils $51.4M Investment in Metabolomics

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Institutes of Health sees metabolomics as a discipline with great potential for the study and treatment of disease, and said today that it plans to invest as much as $51.4 million over five years to bolster this new field through the NIH Common Fund.

The core of the new effort will be three grants totaling $7 million this year and over $28 million total to create three Regional Comprehensive Metabolomics Resource Cores at the University of Michigan, the University of California, Davis, and the Research Triangle Institute. These cores will boost the national capacity to provide metabolomics profiling and data analysis services for the research community.

The core facility at the University of Michigan is an integrated program that will provide researchers around the nation with access to expertise and infrastructure for metabolomics and training opportunities. The UC-Davis core will serve West Coast metabolomics researchers by providing them with access to new technologies, collaborations, and data interpretation, and the Research Triangle Institute, which is based in Research Triangle Park, NC, will provide access to a comprehensive range of services and collaborative metabolomics technologies.

NIH also will use $2 million this year, and $6 million over five years, for a data repository and coordination center (DRCC) at the University of California, San Diego.

The DRCC will provide the organization and will present data from the core facilities and the larger metabolomics community to the biomedical research world, and it will function as a coordinating hub that will enable the cores to function as a consortium that can collaborate on metabolomics research projects.

NIH said that the Common Fund also is supporting a number of research projects using a range of research approaches to engage in new metablomics-focused efforts, including grants to fund technology development to enable large-scale metabolomics analyses, development of courses and workshops, and administrative supplements for collaborative metabolomics activities. Including funding for these projects, NIH expects to spend a total of $14.3 million this year on the metabolomics initiative.

"We are excited about the potential advances in technology that will enable metabolomics analysis to be conducted in basic and clinical settings, resulting in the discovery of new diagnostic tools and yielding important clues about disease mechanisms," James Anderson, director of the NIH Division of Program Coordination, Planning and Strategic Initiatives, said in a statement. "The new cross-cutting metabolomics initiatives will allow for better data sharing and coordination of metabolomics efforts both nationally and internationally."

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