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Precision Medicine Program to Get $9.3M in NHLBI Funding for Omics Research

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has set aside $9.3 million to fund new research over the next three years that will support its Trans Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) program.

TOPMed was created to use high-throughput omics technologies to characterize molecular abnormalities or signatures associated with heart, lung, blood, and sleep (HLBS) disorders. Part of the National Institutes of Health's Precision Medicine Initiative, TOPMed aims to create a repository of whole-genome sequencing (WGS), omics, and clinical data across diverse patient populations. 

The NHLBI recently awarded more than $50 million to the New York Genome Center and the Broad Institute to begin large-scale WGS efforts as part of TOPMed. Now it has earmarked $3.1 million in each of the next three fiscal years to fund up to five projects that will help further advance the initiative. 

The NHLBI said it intends to use the money to fund up to five awards that will enable investigators to pursue their own research interests in areas such as computational biology, data science, population genetics, or genetic epidemiology while "building a data-analytical capacity in TOPMed that can be utilized by investigators in the research community at large."

Grant recipients are expected to collaborate with other TOPMed researchers on projects that "address both immediate needs in TOPMed and long-term challenges and opportunities in integrative omics research and data science," the NHLBI added.

Research projects appropriate for this funding opportunity include high-throughput integrative omics analyses including WGS, RNA-seq, genome-wide methylation, or metabolome data; causal modeling using whole-genome sequences and functional genomics data to enhance discovery of influential genetic and epigenetic variants that influence HLBS disorders; and network-based genetic association analyses.

Additional information about this funding opportunity can be found here.