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NCI to Provide $8.5M for New Molecular Analysis Technology Grants

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Cancer Institute is continuing its Innovative Molecular Analysis Technologies Program (IMAT), providing funding for projects that focus on the inception and early development of tools that could significantly impact cancer research.

The funding also could support emerging technologies aimed at transforming research or clinical care, and efforts that aim to advance biospecimen storage, collection, processing, and handling.

Through one new request for applications, NCI plans to provide $5 million in 2013 to fund 25 projects that seek to develop early-stage, innovative technologies that have not been explored yet for cancer research. The emphasis of these projects is on molecular or cellular-based technologies with a high degree of technical innovation that enhance research into cancer biology, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, control, epidemiology, or health disparities.

Another program will provide $3.5 million in 2013 to fund up to 10 awards for the development of emerging molecular and cellular analysis technologies through validation in an appropriate cancer-relevant system or context. These projects should develop technologies in which the proof -of-principle has already been established, and which could have a major impact in a broad area of cancer research.

General areas of interest for NCI under this program include, but are not limited to, development of new methods for assessing or monitoring cancer stages and progression, cancer detection, and risk assessment, as well as technologies to enhance epidemiological research and address underserved populations and methods for examining factors involved in health disparities.

NCI also will fund Phase I and Phase II research projects that will address issues related to the pre-analytical variations in the collection, processing, handling, and storage of cancer-relevant biospecimens or their derivatives.

The overarching aim of this program is to develop technologies capable of interrogating and maximizing the quality of biospecimens or samples derived from those specimens for use in downstream molecular analyses. The Phase I funding will provide up to $800,000 in 2013 for up to four awards, and the Phase II program will provide $700,000 for two awards.

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