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NIDDK, NHLBI Seek Non-invasive Disease Tests

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Institutes of Health will fund development of new non-invasive methods for diagnosis and monitoring of the progression of diabetes, kidney, urological, hematological, and digestive diseases and kidney disorders, with grants covering up to five years of research.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute seeks to fund new technologies using genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, molecular imaging, and a variety of other methods to develop new ways to detect, characterize, diagnose, and monitor people with predispositions to certain diseases.

NIH said in a funding announcement on Friday that the amount of support it grants in the program will vary according to the research proposed.

NIH said that it needs new tools to "help obtain a functional picture of the vast array of molecular events that interact to produce the healthy or diseased state." These might include new ways to measure flux through enzymatic pathways in tissues, to measure the unique functions of specialized cells in vivo, to monitor the activity of short-lived, small molecule signals, to explore the physical environment of intracellular compartments, or to assess nerve activation in an organ," NIH said.

NIDDK and NHLBI are seeking new surrogate markers for clinical trial endpoints, and new ways to characterize tissues in vivo.

The range of diseases NIH seeks to study with this grant include type 1 and 2 diabetes; acute and chronic kidney disease, liver, urologic, hematologic, digestive, endocrine, and metabolic diseases and their complications; obesity; obesity-related hypertension, hypertension, renal, and vascular disorders leading to hypertension.

NIH also encourages partnerships between public or academic institutions and private organizations for the research, as well as multidisciplinary teams consisting of investigators experienced in non-invasive measurements and who have experience with the particular diseases and tissues of interest.