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NHGRI to Fund Genomic Medicine Demonstration Projects

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Human Genome Research Institute plans to spend around $3 million in the next fiscal year to fund a consortium of collaborative pilot projects that show how patients' individual genomic findings may be used in their clinical treatment.

The Genomic Medicine Pilot Demonstration Projects funding also will support a coordinating center that will be a centralized resource to support the collaborative research teams' projects.

Funded as part of NHGRI's strategic plan to fund more research into clinical applications for genomic medicine, these projects will expand existing genomic medicine efforts, develop new collaborative projects and methods, contribute to the base of evidence on the uses of genomic information in clinical care, and articulate and share the methods for the implementation, diffusion, and sustainability of genomic medicine in diverse settings.

The National Institutes of Health currently funds a limited amount of programs involving genomic medicine, such as the Pharmacogenomic Research Network and the Comparative Effectiveness Research for Genomics and Personalized Medicine program. Evaluating the impact of such programs in diverse settings and populations are "high priorities" at NHGRI, NIH said in a funding announcement.

The studies funded under these grants could adapt ongoing successful genomic medicine projects or initiate new ones that incorporate patients' genomic medicine into their electronic medical records. These projects could include, but are not limited to, projects that seek to implement screening for inherited conditions or certain mutations; collecting, validating, and assessing the risk of information from family histories; and surveying genotype or sequence data for known risk variants and using those findings in clinical care.

In Fiscal Year 2013, NHGRI plans to use $2.6 million to fund three to five research projects and $400,000 to support the coordinating center.

The coordinating center will work with the investigators involved in the genomic medicine pilot projects and NHGRI to incorporate individual genomic findings in clinical care and to disseminate those tools across the program.

The coordinating center activities may include working with investigators to implement a process for integrating genomic findings into Electronic Medical Records and clinical care; identifying processes for providing clinical decision support for those without EMRs; defining and assessing outcomes such as patient and clinical satisfaction, cost, and morbidity; and working with the demonstration project investigators to help sustain and expand the implementation of their projects after NIH funding runs out.

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