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TIGR Joins Consortium to Link Genes with Disease

NEW YORK, Oct 10 - The Institute for Genomic Research said Tuesday it had joined a consortium that will work to uncover links between animal models of human disease and the genes involved in those diseases.

The consortium is being funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, which has issued grants totaling $37 million to launch programs for genomic applications around the United States.

The PGAs will utilize and expand upon the data and technologies currently developed to advance genomic research specifically related to heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders.

John Quackenbush, a scientist at TIGR and one of the inaugural PGA directors, received funding for his project, Expression Profiling of Rodent Models of Human Disease, which was selected as one of the first PGAs.

Quakenbush said that researchers from his lab as well as from the Jackson Laboratories, Boston University, Duke University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Medical College of Wisconsin, would now work together to develop a number of tools and techniques that will provide links between physiologically relevant animal models of human disease and the genes that are differentially expressed in those physiological models.

The TIGR-led consortium will examine gene/environment interactions in rodent models of human disease using cDNA microarrays to link phenotype to genotype.

" While we have a long history of associating genes and gene defects with a large array of disease phenotypes, studies increasingly suggest that many disease phenotypes occur through the interactions of genes with their environments, including the genetic background in which the genes are expressed,” Quakenbush said in a statement.

“Our goal is to begin to explore these interactions using rodent models of human disease and cDNA microarray assays to reveal patterns of gene expression," he said.

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