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NIH Kicks Off Second Stage of 4D Nucleome Program With $142M in Research Grants

NEW YORK — The National Institutes of Health has awarded $142 million in five-year grants to a range of academic institutions participating in the second stage of the agency's 4D Nucleome program.

The 4D Nucleome was launched in 2014 to study the nucleus in space and time, and its first stage generated a range of tools and resources — including nearly 2,000 datasets from hundreds of experiments, 52 software packages, and 23 protocols and reagents — that are available through its public web portal.

To build on this work, the NIH has now kicked off the project's second stage, which focuses on three main areas: the development of tools for the real-time monitoring of the dynamic three-dimensional structure of mammalian genomes and investigating how organizing components of 4D genome architecture affect biological processes in live cells; the generation of reference datasets and navigable maps for studying the spatial and temporal organization of the nucleus; and the monitoring and manipulation of the 4D nucleome in the context of human health and disease. It also includes awards for early-stage investigators.

Among the groups receiving funding under this new stage of the program is Carnegie Mellon University, which is leading a $10 million research initiative generating multimodal imaging and genomic datasets to study nuclear compartmentalization and generate 4D reference maps of nuclear organization. Other institutes working on this project include the University of California, Los Angeles; the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Harvard Medical School; San Diego Biomedical Research Institute; Brown University; the Allen Institute for Cell Science; the University of Dundee; and the National Cancer Institute.

Other award winners include a Gladstone Institutes team that received a $3.6 million grant to study the genetic determinants of 4D genome folding in human cardiac development; scientists from the University of California, San Diego who were awarded $6.5 million to use high-throughput imaging, genomic, and computational tools to study nuclear organization in brain cells; and a University of California, Irvine-led group that received $3 million to perform single-cell analyses of the 4D nucleome changes in the hippocampus during aging.