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Rutgers-based Biorepository Wins $45M in NIMH Funding

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Rutgers University-based biorepository RUCDR Infinite Biologics has received a $44.5 million cooperative agreement award from the National Institute of Mental Health to fund its mental health genomics services program, Rutgers said today.

The funding will support RUCDR's NIMH Center for Collaborative Genomics on Mental Health Disorders, which provides services to NIMH investigators such as tissue sample collection, processing, and advanced statistical and analytic consulting.

Lead investigator on the grant, RUCDR's CEO Jay Tischfield, said in a statement that the center also will "implement new meta-analytic approaches for combined analysis of clinical and genetic data in the NIMH Human Genetics Initiative."

“We also will distribute biomaterials, such as DNA and cell lines, as well as data files to authorized researchers participating in the NIMH initiative," added Tischfield, who is also a professor of genetics at Rutgers and director of the Human Genetics Institute of New Jersey.

Tischfield said the RUDCR's NIMH Stem Cell Resource is a rapidly growing service that collects, characterizes, and banks stem cells, and establishes and distributes pluripotent stem cell lines.

The new funding also will provide funding for support services from Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Southern California, both of which are part of the NIMH Center for Collaborative Genetic Studies on Mental Disorders.

RUCDR landed a $9.5 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health under the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to renovate and expand its facilities, creating the Genomics Technology Center, in the process. That expansion helped enable the facility to receive this new award to become a provider of sample processing, analysis, storage, and data management for research efforts funded by four NIH institutes.

RUCDR received accreditation last year from the College of American Pathologists under its Biorepository Accreditation Program.