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NHLBI to Fund Collaborative Systems Biology Disease Studies

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Because complex diseases can result from multiple perturbations to normally functioning biological networks and pathways, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute plans to fund new research project grants that will use a systems biology approach to studying a variety of disorders.

Under a new funding program, NHLBI aims to support multi-disciplinary, collaborative research projects that use experimental and computational approaches to understanding normal physiology and perturbations that are involved in heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders.

Collaborative teams of researchers from the biomedical, informatics, physical, and mathematical disciplines, which may be headed by multiple principal investigators, will use funding from the Exploratory Program in Systems Biology to develop computational models and perform experiments in a wide range of areas.

Because the nature and scope of the collaborative projects will vary from project to project, the size and duration of the awards will vary.

These systems biology projects may involve a wide range of studies including, but not limited to, research that integrates existing data from genome-wide association and microarray studies with data from the project; integrates imaging and 'omics data to define factors of atherosclerotic plaque vulnerability; develops systems approaches to molecular network features that can categorize disease susceptibility and drug responses; and predicts, validates, and implements biomarker signatures for monitoring drug mechanism of action, drug efficacy, and toxicities.

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