NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Cancer Institute has set aside $2 million to fund between four and six grants in fiscal 2009 that will study replication and fine-mapping of genetic regions associated with diseases, not necessarily cancer.
Part of the National Institutes of Health’s Genes, Environment, and Health Initiative, the one-year grants of up to $400,000 will support studies of gene regions associated with common complex traits, primarily ones that were found through genome-wide association studies.
NCI wants researchers to hunt the causal variants that influence complex diseases, and said in a funding announcement that any phenotypes are desired. This funding may not be used for collecting human specimens, medical or phenotype data, animal model studies, or discovery genome-wide association efforts, NCI said.
The GEI program has two facets: the Genetics Program and the Exposure Biology Program. Focused on GWAS, the Genetics Program seeks to discover genomic variation by studying SNPs, to develop data analytic methods, to continue replication and follow-up genotyping studies, sequencing, functional studies, and clinical translation of research data.
Stemming from discoveries about how environmental and behavioral factors overlap on genetic predisposition factors in emergence of chronic diseases, the Exposure Biology program is focused on testing how environmental and behavioral factors contribute to these diseases. This program is particularly focused on technologies that are suitable for analyses of stored biospecimens.
The GEI program also will fund scientists who are developing environmental sensors for measuring toxins, dietary intake, and physical activity, and biologic markers of response, epigenetics, DNA damage, and psychosocial stressors.
More information about this funding opportunity may be found here.