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UCSF, IUSM Teams Awarded Illumina Arrays, Free Processing Under Expression Analysis Grant Program

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This story was originally posted on March 31.

Expression Analysis this week announced the recipients of its annual GWAS and Data Analysis grants competition, which is cosponsored by Illumina.

Scientists from the University of California, San Francisco, and the Indiana University School of Medicine will receive 600 Illumina Omni BeadChips, and EA will process and analyze the data at no cost.

Both projects will be completed by year’s end. Initially the grant program was to be awarded to just one researcher. However, EA and Illumina said they chose to award both institutions "based on the merits of the two studies." EA and Illumina announced the grant competition last year (BAN 11/2/2010).

The UCSF project, led by Elad Ziv, associate professor of medicine at UCSF, aims to study genetic variations associated with multiple myeloma. "Very little is known about what causes myeloma," Ziv said in a statement. "By harnessing the power of modern genomics, we hope to unravel some of the genetic pathways that underlie risk for this disease, and identify some of the pathways that cause some myeloma to progress rapidly and others to develop complications like bone disease."

The IUSM project, led by Chunyan He, assistant professor of epidemiology at IUSM, intends to combine genome-wide genotyping data with mRNA sequencing data to allow mapping of genetic variants that influence quantitative levels of gene expression in breast cancer.

"The major challenge following a successful GWAS is to establish a functional link between the identified variants and breast cancer," He said in a statement. "Through an integrative analysis of GWAS and gene expression profiling from the same subjects, we aim to identify novel susceptibility genes to breast cancer," he added.

Expression Analysis has offered the GWAS and Data Analysis grants program since 2009. This is the first year that Illumina has cosponsored the program.

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