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NIMH Commits $2M in '09 Funding for Systems Biology Studies

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Institute of Mental Health has issued a request for applications seeking to fund researchers conducting systems biology studies that expand on findings from genome-wide association studies and other genomic approaches.
NIMH said that it would provide $2 million in 2009 to fund between four and eight projects. The total project period may not exceed two years.
The studies would be conducted as part of the National Institutes of Health’s Genes, Environment and Health Initiative and would seek “to identify and characterize the molecular elements of the larger dynamic networks and their perturbations underlying complex human disease,” NIMH said. Study subjects could include the “role of transcripts of unknown function as regulatory elements in molecular networks for complex disorders; identification of likely molecular candidates and functional variants using systems biology approaches; bioinformatics studies to identify molecular elements and pathways relevant to complex diseases using results from GWAS studies; [and] studies that elucidate the role of epigenetic mechanisms in the molecular pathophysiology of complex human diseases.”
NIMH said that the goal of this RFA is to fund systems biology approaches and tools in investigating molecular pathways, cellular circuits, regulatory networks, and environmental triggers that, as a whole, determine a disease phenotype. It said that it is “imperative” that researchers receiving funding share specimens, data, assays, and computational tools as part of the Genes, Environment, and Health Initiative.
Applications are due Jan. 14, 2009, with studies expected to begin in July.
More information about the RFA can be found here.

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