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NIH Awards $11M in Grants to High-Risk, High-Reward Genomics Projects

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The National Institutes of Health announced today that it has awarded more than $11 million in grant funding to support six research projects investigating various aspects of genomics and its role in human disease.

The awards were made as part of the NIH's High-Risk, High-Reward Research Program — a part of the agency's Common Fund designed to promote high-impact biomedical research — which has awarded approximately $127 million to fund 88 grants thus far.

"The program continues to support high-caliber investigators whose ideas stretch the boundaries of our scientific knowledge," NIH Director Francis Collins said in a statement. "We welcome the newest cohort of outstanding scientists to the program and look forward to their valuable contributions."

Among those receiving funding this year are Salk Institute for Biological Studies scientist Jesse Dixon, who was given $485,000 to study the mechanisms underlying the formation of three-dimensional genome structures; University of California, San Francisco scientist Bassem Al-Sady, who was awarded $2.4 million to investigate heterochromatic-driven genome partitioning in single embryonic cell systems; and Harvard Medical School's Chao-Ting Wu, who received $1.2 million to explore how ultraconserved elements in the human genome act to eliminate disease-causing genetic rearrangements.

Also awarded NIH grants were Cornell University's Amnon Koren, who received $1.5 million to study the role of variation in DNA replication timing in individuals and how it relates to disease risk; Anshul Kundaje of Stanford University, who was awarded $2.6 million to create machine- learning methods for studying regulatory genomics; and Rahul Satija of the New York Genome Center, who received $2.8 million to develop a method for the simultaneous measurement of a single cell's transcriptome, spatial environment, and lineage relationships.