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NIH Awards $14M to Stanford, St. Jude's Researchers to Examine Genetics of Drug Response

This article has been corrected to note that funding for the Stanford researchers came from NIGMS rather than NHGRI.

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The National Institutes of Health has awarded two grants worth a total of $14 million to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine to expand two ongoing projects that support efforts to explore connections between genes and drug response.

The first of these grants is from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, which has awarded $10 million over four years to Stanford researchers Russ Altman and Teri Klein to expand the PharmGKB knowledgebase, a repository of comprehensive information about how genetics affects drug response in individuals.

Altman and Klein, who is also the director of PharmGKB, created the resource in 2000. They plan to use the grant funds to add in information about drug responses involving multiple genes, and reprogram the knowledgebase so that it can accessed by users with different levels of scientific understanding, among other updates. Currently, the database contains genetic information from nearly 10,000 scientific papers and documents nearly 13,000 associations between specific alleles and drug response phenotypes.

Also, the NIGMS and the National Human Genome Research Institute have awarded a $4 million grant to Klein and Mary Relling, a faculty member in the pharmaceutical sciences department at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. These funds will support the activities of the Clinical Pharmacogenetics Implementation Consortium (CPIC).

CPIC publishes guidelines that help healthcare providers use patients' genetic information to guide and optimize drug prescriptions.