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UK's Genome Analysis Centre Launches Early-Access Research Program

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This article was originally published Dec. 3.

The UK's Genome Analysis Centre recently issued a call for proposals for a new early-access research program, called "Capacity and Capability Challenge," that will start in January 2010 and run for 12 to 18 months.

The goal is to enable UK researchers "to engage with the center's new sequencing and bioinformatics facilities" and to "deliver a program of pilot studies that address not only biological research problems but also technical challenges to sequencing and associated informatics," according to the center's website.

Academic researchers, industry, and established sequencing and bioinformatics research centers are invited to submit proposals, which will be reviewed by the center's scientific advisory board. The SAB will assemble a pilot program that will allow TGAC to position itself as a "world-class" sequencing and bioinformatics center. The first application deadline is Dec. 15, and the first projects are slated to start in January 2010.

The center, which officially opened in July, is being built in three phases, according to the website: during the ongoing start-up phase, the center will set up equipment, recruit personnel, establish a scientific advisory board, establish the CCC program, and develop a "plan for business engagement."

As part of a scale-up phase, the center will expand its sequencing and analysis capacity, and engage in small- and large-scale national and international genomics projects.

Finally, once fully operational, the center plans to deliver small- and large-scale genomics projects, deploy further sequencing technologies, develop "new data collection and distribution strategies," and develop bioinformatics research and service support activities.

TGAC is located in the Norwich Research Park and is being funded primarily by the UK's Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. Jane Rogers, the former human sequencing and mapping project manager at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, directs the center (see In Sequence 5/19/2009).

Further information on the early-access program and application instructions are available here.

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