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NIH Seeks Studies to Analyze GTEx Tissues

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Institutes of Health plans to use $10 million over the next three years to support researchers conducting molecular analyses of samples housed in the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) project's biobank.

NIH's GTEx project is a resource database and tissue bank that was created to provide the research community with information and tissue samples for studying the relationships between genetic variation and gene expression, as well as other molecular phenotypes. NIH believes that this resource will provide a powerful tool to investigators who are interpreting genome-wide association data or other genomic findings.

GTEx houses a wide range of sample types including genomic DNA; PAXgene fixed, frozen tissue and paraffin embedded tissue; flash frozen brain samples; mRNA and microRNA; and lymphoblastoid and fibroblast cell lines.

This round of funding will support up to 10 projects seeking to analyze biospecimens stored in GTEx that will add to the value of the resource as a whole, but which also will address specific scientific questions, even if those questions cannot be definitively answered during the course of this funding.

Investigators may use the funding to pursue a range of questions and topics, such as studies seeking to find out how much natural variation exists in molecular phenotypes among different people and how much variation there is among different tissues from the same person.

Researchers also may investigate how post-mortem molecular phenotypes compare to analogous data from normal and diseased tissues from living people, how well correlated different sets of molecular phenotypes are among different people and among different tissues from one person, and which molecular phenotypes are the most useful in studying expression quantitative trait loci.

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