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NIH to Provide $2.8M for Human Genetic Cell Repository

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The National Institute of General Medical Sciences plans to provide up to $2.8 million next year to fund the NIGMS Human Genetic Cell Repository.

Currently based at the Coriell Institute for Medical Research, the repository will use the funds to maintain NIGMS' collection of cell cultures and DNA samples, and expand and distribute cell lines and DNA isolated from them to biomedical researchers.

NIH gave Coriell a grant of $27 million in 2010 to run the repository for five years.

The repository, which was created in 1972, now contains more than 11,000 cell lines from individuals with inherited diseases, healthy individuals, and people from diverse geographic origins, and it houses representatives from more than 40 population groups and over 1,000 diseases. The facility also provides induced pluripotent stem cell lines that carry disease gene mutations and normal iPS cell lines. The repository serves the genetics research community by offering on-demand services related to cell cultures and DNA samples.

NIGMS wants the repository to encourage researchers to test out new techniques and hypotheses involving human cells, though it anticipates that over the coming five years the repository will continue to perform essentially the same functions it does now.

Applicants for the funding will be expected to have a track record of managing an established biobank; expertise in human genetics, cell culture, iPS cell growth, molecular biology; and experience managing a complex resource, including customer service and outreach activities.

The facility will be expected to distribute the 11,000 cell lines currently in the collection, and acquire and establish new cell lines, maintain and distribute the stock of DNA samples from roughly 5,500 samples, distribute reagents, and provide a range of other genetic services.

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