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National Disease Research Interchange, Collaborators Win $12.5M NIH Grant for Biospecimen Effort

NEW YORK — The National Disease Research Interchange said on Thursday that it and collaborators have been awarded $12.5 million from the National Institutes of Health to establish a pediatric biospecimen procurement center in support of the developmental Genotype-Tissue Expression (dGTEx) project.

The project was launched in 2020 to establish a resource database and associated tissue bank to study gene expression patterns in multiple reference tissues during human developmental stages. It builds on the 10-year Genotype-Tissue Expression project, which concluded a year ago.

The NIH funding is being provided over five years to NDRI, the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), the University of Maryland's Medicine Department of Pediatrics, and Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital (JHACH), which will work together to provide the dGTEx's pediatric laboratory data analysis collection center with suitable tissue samples for analysis.

Specifically, NDRI will provide project management and coordinate the specimen recovery collection effort; CHOP will process, store, and coordinate pathological review of all non-brain tissues and manage the bioinformatics workflow; and the University of Maryland will process, store, and provide pathological review of brains at the NeuroBiobank. JHACH will coordinate the project's ethical, legal, and social implications study to include evaluations of tissue requesters and family decision makers of deceased and at-risk children.

"The resources the dGTEx project will provide for insight to tissue and cell-specific gene expression during development and in pediatric and adult-onset disease is unparalleled," Mary Hendrix, chair of the NDRI board of directors, said in a statement.