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UPenn Med School Wins $600K NIH Grant to Create Multidisciplinary Pharmacogenomics Center

NEW YORK, Oct. 5 (GenomeWeb News) - The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine won a $595,000 grant from the US National Institutes of Health to create a new interdisciplinary center to study gene-drug interactions.

 

The Human Pharmacogenomic Epidemiology center, which will be overseen by Stephen Kimmel, associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at the medical school, aims at bringing together several genomic and biotechnology specialties to study gene-drug interactions, according to UPenn.

 

The center will bring together researchers in genetics, bioinformatics, pharmacology, epidemiology, biostatistics, and bioethics in an attempt to better understand the genetic underpinnings of drug response.

The funding behind the HPE center comes from the NationalCenterfor Research Resources, which is part of the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research.

According to Kimmel, the HPE center "hope[s] ... to include input from leaders in the field [of gene-drug interaction] throughout the country and the world. For example, we plan to have leaders in the field visit Penn and work with us on the development of the center."

 

The center initially will focus on gene-drug interactions of cardiac and oncology compounds, according to Kimmel. "However, we hope to become more broad than this because our main goal is to advance the methods of the field and foster transdisciplinary development that overcomes barriers to progress in the field," he wrote in an e-mail to GenomeWeb News today.

 

He said the center currently employs around 30 investigators; there are no plans to hire additional staff.

 

"Hopefully, we will have made enough momentum to develop future, independent funding for research projects in the field [of studying gene-drug interactions]," Kimmel wrote in the e-mail. "Also, there is the possibility that NIH will offer future funding that we can apply for that will fund larger efforts."

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