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Texas A&M Launches Initiative to Pull Together Resources in Genomics Research

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Texas A&M University late on Wednesday announced a research initiative to leverage new discoveries in genomics.

The Whole Systems Genomics Initiative, or WSGI, pulls together researchers from throughout the university to apply genomics-based research "in a coordinated effort to identify novel applications for this new knowledge," the university said.

WSGI originated in 2008 from ideas presented in a white paper proposal, according to its website, and was developed as part of the Chancellor's Research Initiative, which provides one-time funds to Texas A&M and Prairie View A&M University for recruiting and hiring faculty members. CRI has a total budget of $33 million 2013 and the same amount for 2014, though it is unclear how much funding will be directed specifically to WSGI.

WSGI represents 184 faculty members across 39 departments and units across nine colleges, Texas A&M Health Science Center, and other components of the A&M system, the university said. David Threadgill, formerly at North Carolina State University, will serve as director of WSGI, where he will align teams of researchers from across Texas A&M and develop collaborations both nationally and internationally.

Threadgill will shepherd faculty members to "stimulate interdisciplinary research, increase accessibility to critical infrastructure and funding for genomic investigations, and create synergy among faculty members and trainees already engaged in genomic research in various species," the university added.

It did not detail projects expected to be undertaken at WSGI, but on its website, WSGI said that it will leverage existing expertise at the university and throughout the University of Texas A&M System in genomics research directed at veterinary science and agricultural sciences, in addition to the life sciences.

WSGI will be headquartered in the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. The university said the initiative reinforces its commitment to One Health, a concept that human, animal, and ecosystem health are linked.

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