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NIMH Seeking New Genomics Tools for Mental Illness

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Institute of Mental Health wants to fund researchers developing new genomics technologies that can be used to research genetic markers for mental disorders.
Investigators may propose new technologies for cost-effective whole-genome analysis and in-depth sequencing and analysis of candidate genes and genomic regions in pedigrees or in a sample of unrelated cases with mental disorders. NIMH also wants to review applications for large-scale haplotype analysis and those proposing new analytical methods.
NIMH said in a funding opportunity announcement that because of the nature of the proposed research the amount of funding and the number of the awards will vary, and will be dependent upon several factors including quality, duration, and the costs of the proposed research. Investigators should not request funding for projects lasting more than five years.
The developmental programs the investigators seek “may be evolutionary or may be fundamentally new and may lead to paradigm shifts in the field,” NIMH stated in the request.
The research will focus on using samples from the Center for Collaborative Genetics Studies (CCGC), which was started by NIMH as a mental health disorder genetics sample and data repository. The CCGC contains DNA, cell lines, phenotypic data, clinical information, and genotyping data.
Investigators also may propose studies that use existing sample collections either alone or in a combination with CCGC samples, but this program will not fund any new data collection efforts, NIMH said.
The applications should focus on one of seven mental disorders including anorexia nervosa, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism and related autism spectrum disorders, bipolar disorder, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, and schizophrenia.
Applications may be submitted after Sept. 5.
More information about the NIMH request is available here.

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