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Rutgers Lands $10M for Alcoholism Genetics and Behavior Study

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Rutgers University has reeled in a $10 million grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to handle genomic and biorepository services for a research effort aimed at determining the genetic and environmental factors that lead to alcoholism.

Rutgers' Cell and DNA Repository (RUCDR) will provide DNA extraction, basic genetic testing, and repository services for the project, which will involve 46,000 saliva samples from participants from around the US.

Under the four-year project, RUDCR will perform genotyping to explore genetic links to behaviors and distribute the samples to DNA sequencing labs, which will generate whole-genome sequences for each individual participant.

The aim of the study, which will begin collecting saliva samples in February 2012, is to identify environmental and genetic risk factors and to try to learn how they are associated with harmful alcohol-related behaviors and abuse.

"For the first time researchers will have robust epidemiological and biological information from large numbers of individuals so that they may correlate genetics to alcohol abuse behavior," Jay Tischfield, Rutgers' Duncan and Nancy Macmillan Professor of Genetics and director of the Human Genetics Institute of New Jersey, said in a statement. "The results will be used to formulate national policy and improve health care services."

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