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Children's Hospital Network Wins $8.5M NIH Grant to Expand Data-Sharing Initiative

NEW YORK — Member hospitals of the Genomics Research and Innovation Network (GRIN) have been awarded a multi-year National Institutes of Health grant worth more than $8.5 million to expand their genomic data-sharing network to include additional institutions.

GRIN, established in 2015 by Boston Children's Hospital, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and Cincinnati Children's Hospital (CCHMC), has built an open-source system for querying genotype-phenotype databases at the three hospitals.  

With the system, whose creation was described in Genetics in Medicine last month, hospital researchers can receive aggregate data on patients with specific genotypes and phenotypes in their respective biobanks without the need for a central information repository to help increase cohort size for discovery purposes, particularly for rare conditions.

With the new NIH funding, GRIN now plans to expand into a larger federation of medical centers that includes the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Washington University in St. Louis, according to Boston Children's Hospital. 

"There are over 7,000 rare diseases which in aggregate create a large impact on both pediatric and adult public health," Tracy Glauser, associate director of the Cincinnati Children's Research Foundation and a co-investigator in the new grant, said in a statement. "The grant funding will accelerate our federated network's ability to make both impactful discoveries and improve care through more rapid and efficient sharing of genomic information for all of these disorders."