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UConn Genomics Institute Launching $1M Collaborative Projects Program

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The University of Connecticut's Institute for Systems Genomics plans to use $1 million to fund proposals for new genomics research projects with its partners, including the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine, the UConn Health Center, and Connecticut Children's Medical Center, as well as other hospitals and healthcare organizations in the region.

These pilot projects will center on interdisciplinary genomics research that consists of investigators from UConn and from Jackson Lab, which is building a $1.1 billion genomic medicine center at the UConn Health Center Campus in Farmington, Conn., the university said on Friday.

UConn Professor and Director of the Institute for Systems Genomics Marc Lalande said in a statement that one of the fundamental goals for the institute, which was established late in 2012, "is to encourage collaborative research and move the promise of genomic medicine forward."

"The new pilot programs are a step in the right direction," Lalande said.

These projects will be called Affinity Research Collaboratives and will be modeled on a similar program conceived at Boston University.

Proposals for funding must involve interdisciplinary genomics research and integrate at least two disciplines, said UConn. In addition, the projects must consist of a team of at least four investigators with representation from both Jackson Lab and UConn. The proposals also must show how the projects will be collaborative and include plans to mentor trainees, plans for group meetings to enhance innovation and networking, as well as a data management strategy and identification of potential extramural funding opportunities in the future.

The proposals will be reviewed by an external panel that includes partners at the Institute for Genomics and Systems Biology at the University of Chicago, the UC Davis Department of Medical Biology and Microbiology, and Pennsylvania State University.