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NIDA to Prioritize Addiction Genetics Research Funding

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Institute on Drug Abuse said in a notice on Friday that in response to funding constraints at the National Institutes of Health it plans to prioritize funding for studies of genes that may be involved in addiction.

NIDA's interest in genetics and genomics research focuses on the multiple genes and variants that, along with environmental and developmental factors, may play a role in addiction.

NIDA posted the notice so the addiction genetics research community can begin to align their projects with its priority areas.

NIDA said it will place a higher priority on projects that seek to identify and characterize the mechanistic roles and/or clinical applications of variants that contribute to addiction, as well as projects that use targeted whole-genome and whole-exome sequencing approaches. However, genome-wide association studies may be given a lower priority, it said.

The institute also will prioritize studies that use bioinformatics and computational approaches that employ and integrate existing data sets, such as data from the dbGaP, the 1,000 Genomes Project, ENCODE, and imaging resources to maximize the knowledge about targeted genetic regions or to fuel biomarker development studies.

NIDA also plans to take steps to ensure that its portfolio is balanced through a coordinated assessment of the design and genetic approach chosen for human genetics applications by the NIDA Genetics Coordinating Committee. The institute also said it plans to accept only a limited number of applications that request direct costs of $500,000 or more per year.

NIDA's funding has been relatively flat, and not adjusted for inflation, for three straight years at around $1.05 billion, and has increased by only $47 million since 2005.