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Garvan Institute Gets A$11.6M From Australian Government to Develop Genomics-Based Disease Tests

NEW YORK – The Garvan Institute of Medical Research said last week that four of its research teams have won a total of A$11.6 million (US$7.7 million) in grant funding from the Australian government to improve diagnosis and treatment of disease using genomics.

The funding, from the Medical Research Future Fund Genomics Health Futures Mission, will support projects around diseases including Parkinson's, inflammatory bowel disease, and rare genetic disorders.

Specifically, Stuart Tangye will lead a four-year project to use a multiomics approach to double the rate of diagnosis for inborn errors of immunity (IEI). His team will use DNA and RNA sequencing, bioinformatics, functional genomics pipelines, and immune cell analysis and build a national database of IEI cases.

Joseph Powell is heading a four-year project to develop a test predicting response of inflammatory bowel disease patients to biological therapies using multiomic data. The project will also analyze data from the OneK1K project, a single-cell RNA sequencing project, to identify patterns in treatment response.

Kishore Kumar will lead a project to improve the genetic diagnosis of monogenic Parkinson's disease and to identify disease-causing variants in various genes. His team will analyze DNA samples from 1,000 Parkinson's patients.

Ira Deveson is the leader of a three-year project to establish a national program for long-read sequencing that aims to improve the diagnosis of rare genetic diseases. His team will evaluate and optimize long-read sequencing for prospective clinical use and determine best practices for its use. Oxford Nanopore Technologies said in a separate statement this week that Deveson will be using its nanopore sequencing technology for the project.