The US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is soliciting proposals for "functional genomics research that will increase our knowledge of the specific biochemical function(s) of hypothetical genes and unknown open reading frames, and the function(s) of noncoding RNAs in the annotated genomes of infectious disease pathogens," it says in a new funding opportunity announcement. In an effort to build upon its genomics program, NIAID adds that it intends to award $7.1 million total in fiscal year 2013 to support three to five project grants.
"Genomics analyses for microbial pathogens have repeatedly demonstrated there are many uncharacterized regions of these genomes including hypothetical genes, open reading frames with no known function(s), and potential genes for noncoding RNAs. Some of these potential genes are evolutionarily conserved in microbial pathogens, implying these sequences may encode important and/or novel functions in the pathogen," NIAID says in its funding opportunity announcement. "Utilization of state-of-the-art technologies is required to achieve breakthroughs in characterizing these components of sequenced genomes and understanding the relationship between a pathogen’s genes and gene products and their disease-causing effects in humans."
NIAID adds that it plans to focus on projects investigating pathogens it has listed as Category A through Category C. Daily Scan's sister publication GenomeWeb Daily News has more on this grant program.