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Genomic Medicine Education Gets $3.5M Boost From NIH

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The National Institutes of Health has kicked off a new grant program designed to promote education in genomic medicine among physicians and biomedical scientists.

Called the Institutional Training Grant Program in Genomic Medicine, the initiative has awarded $3.5 million in five-year grants to research institutes to provide genomics training to postdoctoral fellows who have earned an MD or PhD.

Organizations receiving the funding include a partnership between The University of Alabama at Birmingham and the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, the University of Utah, and Vanderbilt University.

"These programs will address the growing needs to formally train scientists and physicians in the underpinnings of genomic medicine," Heather Junkins, a program director in the Division of Genomic Medicine at the National Human Genome Research Institute, said in a statement. "The training grants are novel in the fact that MDs and PhDs will train together."

According to the NIH, the training programs will specifically focus on bioinformatics approaches to adapting to big data in genomics.

"It's not much of a challenge to sequence a genome anymore," Lynn Jorde, chair of the department of human genetics at the University of Utah's School of Medicine, added. "The biggest challenge now is interpreting the genomic information that we're able to generate."