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NIH Awards $3.4M for Cancer Genome Atlas Technology Development

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) - The National Institutes of Health said today that it has awarded eight two-year awards worth a total of $3.4 million to support the development of new technologies for the Cancer Genome Atlas pilot program.
The Cancer Genome Atlas, a joint initiative of the National Cancer Institute and the National Human Genome Research Institute that kicked off in late 2005, aims to "test the feasibility of a large-scale, systematic approach to identifying the changes that occur in the genomes of cancer cells," NIH said in a statement.
"The goal is to generate genomic information that the research community can use to develop new and improved strategies for detecting, treating and, ultimately, preventing cancer," NIH said.
The following investigators and institutions will use the NIH funds for a number of studies that will generate large amounts of data focused on cancer genomics:
  • Baylor College of Medicine's Aleksandar Milosavljevic will receive $413,000 to develop methods based on next-generation sequencing platforms to investigate structural variations in the genomes of cancer cells.
  • City of Hope/Beckman Research Institute's Gerd Pfeifer will receive $465,000 to study DNA methylation in cancer genomes.
  • Benjamin Tycko, of Columbia University, will receive $443,000 to use high-density oligonucleotide arrays to characterize genomic aberrations and DNA methylation.
  • Timothy Bestor, also at Columbia University, will receive $362,000 to develop methods for high-throughput of DNA methylation.
  • Johns Hopkins University's Andrew Feinberg will use $464,000 to develop new approaches for investigating allele-specific gene expression patterns.
  • Nimblegen Systems will use a $415,000 grant to use high-density oligonucleotide arrays to select genomic regions for DNA sequence analysis.
  • Stanford University's Ronald Davis will receive $429,000 to develop methods for high-throughput isolation of genomic regions for DNA sequence analysis.
  • Peggy Farnham of the University of California, Davis, will use $418,000 to develop ChIP-chip assays to study cancer-associated changes in genomic regions that are important in gene regulation, using small fragments of cancer tissue.

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