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NHGRI Awards $1,000 Genome Grants to IBM Research, Ion Torrent, Others

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By Julia Karow

This article was originally published Oct.5.

The National Human Genome Research Institute has awarded at least $5.7 million in fiscal year 2009 under its Revolutionary Genome Sequencing Technologies grant program, also known as the "$1,000 Genome" program.

According to the National Institutes of Health's grant database, the institute has made at least 10 awards under the program. Among the grantees are a number of companies, as well as one company-affiliated research institute, developing sequencing technologies:

• Ion Torrent Systems, a start-up based in Guilford, Conn., that was founded by 454-co-founder Jonathan Rothberg, will receive $1.13 million in fiscal 2009 for the "development of a semiconductor-based platform for genomic sequencing."

• Approximately $962,000 in FY 2009 will go to San Diego-based Electronic Biosciences for "99.99 percent accuracy direct DNA sequencing via the protein nanopore method."

• The IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center will receive $557,000 in FY 2009 to work on a "nanopore-based device for DNA sequencing."

• Lightspeed Genomics, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., was awarded $243,000 in FY 2009 for "Deep-submicron optical detection for high-density high-throughput DNA [sequencing]."

In addition, a number of academic groups received funding under the program:

• Jens Gundlach from the University of Washington received two awards, one totaling $711,000 in FY 2009, the other $276,000, for "nanopore sequencing of DNA with MSpA."

• Jing Ju at Columbia University was awarded $637,000 in FY 2009 for "single molecule DNA sequencing by fluorescent nucleotide reversible terminators."

• Xiaoliang Xie from Harvard University will receive $652,000 in FY 2009 for "Real-time single-molecule nucleic acid sequencing with fluorogenic nucleotides."

• Joseph Lakowicz from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, will obtain $280,000 in FY 2009 for "DNA sequencing using intrinsic base fluorescence."

• Derek Stein at Brown University will receive $277,000 in FY 2009 for "Sequencing by nanopore mass spectrometry."

Further information about the grants awarded under the program this year was not available from NHGRI, which plans to announce the awards formally later this month.

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