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Extramural Research News Features

2014

NHGRI convenes workshop on the future of genome sequencing program

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On July 28-29, genome researchers, clinicians, computational biologists and others will meet in Bethesda, Md. to consider the possible size, scope and future opportunities for the National Human Genome Research Institute's (NHGRI) Genome Sequencing Program (GSP). Future Opportunities for Genome Sequencing and Beyond: A Planning Workshop for the National Human Genome Research Institute will be webcast live starting at 8:30 a.m. on July 28. Read more 


June 6, 2014: Reflecting on more than two decades of the ELSI "experiment"

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The Ethical, Legal and Social Implications Program, established in 1990 at NHGRI as an "experimnt", is now the largest bioethics extramural research program at NIH and funds more studies in ethical, legal and social issues related to genomics and genetics than any other program nationwide. Writing in the Annual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics, long-term leaders in the program reflect on more than two decades of ELSI's existence. (more)


April 23, 2014: Genomics' daunting challenge: Identifying variants that matter

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In a paper appearing April 24, 2014, in the journal Nature, authors recommended a set of genomic approaches to implicating rare, inherited variants involving one or a handful of genes that have large effects on an individual's risk for developing rare diseases. These same approaches might help researchers identify variants that affect complex diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. (more)


February 6, 2014: International gathering highlights opportunities in genomic medicine

Read more At the Global Leaders in Genomic Medicine meeting, held Jan. 8-9 at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., both large and small countries are creating innovative programs and plans for implementing genomic medicine. The two-day meeting sponsored by NHGRI recommended ways to improve the use of genomics in medicine. (more)

January 13, 2014: As genomics breaches cancer walls, researchers forge new treatment paths

Read more When researchers with The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) began noticing genomic similarities among individual cancers, they launched the Pan-Cancer initiative as a next logical step in identifying patterns in many diseases. The Pan-Cancer reports are increasingly creating topographic maps across cancers, charting the roads that therapies might take. Such maps, along with new approaches, have the potential to change the way researchers and clinicians understand and attack cancer. Read more  

January 7, 2014: Harvard Medical School to play key coordination role in NIH Undiagnosed Diseases Network

Read moreThe National Institutes of Health (NIH) Common Fund took a major step toward shaping its multi-site Undiagnosed Diseases Network (UDN) with the selection of Harvard Medical School as the UDN Coordinating Center. The $9 million, four-year award begins the expansion of the NIH Undiagnosed Diseases Program to which doctors across the country have turned for help in diagnosing their patients' puzzling conditions. (more)
 

2013

December 24, 2013: Nanopore DNA sequencing: New approaches to an old challenge
 

Nanopore Using nanopores to sequence DNA offers many potential advantages over current methods. It costs less, and can be done faster, in real time. The same molecule can be studied over and over again. Most current techniques are more complicated than that. Developing nanopore sequencing, a fast and inexpensive method of sequencing DNA, could have a dramatic effect on clinical care and research. (more)
 

November 15, 2013: NHGRI announces grants to the Centers for Excellence in Ethical, Legal and Social Implications Research Program

People This past summer, NHGRI awarded two Specialized Center grants and three Exploratory Center grants under its Centers for Excellence in Ethical, Legal and Social Implications Research (CEERs) program. Some of the research areas the grants will support will investigate how families respond to genetic risk, how the genome affects response to the flu virus and human research subject protection issues. (more)

October 27, 2013: TCGA study of glioblastoma tumor genome reveals new details, potential treatment strategies

Glioblastoma Investigators with The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Research Network have discovered new details about key genes, proteins and pathways in a common type of brain cancer that will kill 14,000 people this year. These findings, based on the most comprehensive genomic survey of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) to date, may lead to a better understanding of the disease's development and growth and, ultimately, to new treatments and diagnostic targets. (more)

September 27, 2013: The benefits of looking across many cancer genomes: A perspective

Chart Investigators in The Cancer Genome Atlas have created the Pan-Cancer project to sort out genomic similarities across cancers, hoping this research will lead to tailored treatments. A new commentary in Nature Genetics describes the program, and two accompanying studies provide the promise that scientists are on the right track. (more)

August 20, 2013: Human microbiome meeting highlights research progress

Microbial biofilm of mixed species from human body. From A. Earl (Broad Institute/MIT, 2012) Nearly 250 scientists - including microbiologists, physicians, biologists, computational biologists, epidemiologists, bioethicists, ecologists and even a psychiatrist - gathered recently in Bethesda, Md., for Human Microbiome: Vision for the Future, a meeting that assessed the current state of human microbiome research and crafted a plan for its future. (more)  

June 28, 2013: New grants focus on using genomic information in patient care

Physician Survey after survey shows that most physicians see genomics as crucial to major advances in disease diagnostics, treatment and prevention. But discovering how they can best use genomics in taking care of patients remains a challenge. Several new grants from NHGRI will address these challenges and help find solutions. (more)  

May 16, 2013: Researchers fine-tune genomic links to high blood lipid levels

Researcher An international team of researchers has uncovered new evidence of potential genetic influences on blood lipid levels in three ethnic groups: African Americans, East Asians and Europeans. The results may lead to new insights into how genes affect the development of unhealthy levels of cholesterol, help explain differences in risks for heart disease and lead to new potential treatment strategies. (more)  

March 4, 2013: NHGRI continues to push the boundaries of innovation

People meeting at a large table National Human Genome Research Institute staff highlighted several major institute programs at the recent 67th meeting of the National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research, offering insights into some of the institute's progress and innovation over the last several years, and providing glimpses into the future. At the meeting - held February 11-12 in Rockville, Md. - council members heard about The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) project, the Human Hereditary and Health in Africa (H3Africa) project, and the status of the Centers of Excellence in Genomic Science (CEGS), a centerpiece of NHGRI's Extramural Research Program. (more)

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2012

September 20, 2012: Building a Biobank to Explore Mysteries of the Genome

Researcher The architects of the biobank wanted nothing left to chance and everything well documented. That's why they developed 150 standard operating procedures to ensure that tissue samples were collected, processed, and stored in exactly the same way. And they collected data on the best temperatures for shipping the samples across the United States. All that planning is paying off for the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) project, which will use the samples to investigate how genes are regulated in health and disease. (more)

May 29, 2012: NHGRI awards funding to develop tools for genome sequence analyses

Bioinformatics The goal of sequencing a human genome for $1000 is well within reach, but that's just the beginning of the story. Once a genome is sequenced, researchers are left with the formidable challenge of analyzing and interpreting its embedded code - a complex task that requires sophisticated data analysis tools. (more)

May 14, 2012: NHGRI to host symposium on model organism Encyclopedia of DNA Elements project

modENCODE logoOn June 20-21, NHGRI will host a special symposium to celebrate modENCODE, an NHGRI project that nears completion this year. The goal of modENCODE was to create a comprehensive catalog of functional elements in the Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly) and Caenorhabditis elegans (worm) and freely distribute the data to the research community. (more)

March 29, 2012: 1000 Genomes Project data available on Amazon Cloud

clouds and DNA Double HelixThe world's largest set of data on human genetic variation - produced by the international 1000 Genomes Project - is now publicly available on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and AWS jointly announced today. (more)

February 24, 2012: NIDA and NHGRI announce new PhenX measures for substance abuse and addiction

PhenX logoNew standardized substance abuse and addiction measures, published February 24 on the PhenX Toolkit, will make it easier for researchers to combine studies and gain the much-needed statistical power to identify gene-gene or gene-environment interactions. The substance abuse and addiction measures are part of the Consensus Measures for Phenotype and eXposures Toolkit (PhenX). (more)

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2011

October 5, 2011: ENCODE RFAs Expand Effort to Understand the Genome

ENCODE Logo On October 4, the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) released three new Requests for Applications (RFAs) in which it announced plans to invest more than $120 million over four years (or about $31.5 million in FY 2012) to expand Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) research. (more)

September 26, 2011: Submit your bold ideas now for transformative research awards

Abstract image with multicolored paint splatterResearchers with bold, paradigm-shifting ideas that will accelerate the translation of research into improved health outcomes can now apply for up to $25 million from the NIH Director's Transformative Research Award initiative. (more)

September 26, 2011: NHGRI funds return of results studies, forms expert consortium

People's silhouette and a globe in the backgroundThe National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) today awarded seven grants, totaling $5.7 million, aimed at untangling one of the knottiest ethical issues facing genomic researchers. Under the microscope are issues around if, when and how researchers should return to study participants information about their risk for diseases or conditions discovered during studies of their genomes. (more)

August 31, 2011: Leaping Lizards! Researchers sequence first lizard genome

Cartoon character Little Orphan Annie with leaping lizardsIf Little Orphan Annie had a DNA sequencing machine at Daddy Warbucks' mansion, she would probably start by sequencing the genome of a lizard to see why it leaped. And, she might be interested to discover that some elements of the lizard genome are active, mobile and, yes, still leaping. That's what researchers have discovered from analyzing the genome of the first lizard, the North American green anole. (more)

August 29, 2011: Grant Writing: Advice from an NHGRI Pro

Bettie Graham, Ph.D.The most successful scientific researchers hone their grant writing skills in order to compete for increasingly scarce funding. The National Human Genome Research Institute wants to help you write successful grant applications with tips to guide you through the process from Bettie Graham, Ph.D., a pro in grants administration for more than 30 years. (more)

August 24, 2011: Applicants Wanted: Funding Now Available for H3Africa

H3Africa LogoAfrican researchers may now apply for funding to build genomic research facilities and expertise and to conduct genomic studies in Africa. The grants are part of the Human Heredity and Health in Africa project, or H3Africa, which aim to identify rare genetic variations in Africans that may affect people around the world. (more)

August 1, 2011: eMERGE network funding expands, adds pediatric studies

Nurse looking at electronic medical records on a computer screenBy linking data about patients' genes with descriptions of their diseases via Electronic Medical Records (EMR), doctors may someday be able to customize patients' treatments and outcomes. This is the goal of the Electronic Medical Records and Genomics, or eMERGE, network, which was formed in 2007 by NHGRI with support from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. (more)

July 18, 2011: NHGRI's Ethical, Legal and Social Implications Research Program Updates Priorities

Silhouttes of people with letters A T C GNHGRI's Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) research program has re-focused its research to stay in step with genomic advances. The program is now aligned with NHGRI's new strategic plan for the future of genomics, Charting a Course for Genomic Medicine from Base Pairs to Bedside published in the journal Nature in February. NHGRI has issued three new program announcements to support studies that address the most pressing ELSI issues. (more)

May 23, 2011: Funding Now Available for Technology Development to Catalog and Analyze Function of Genomes

Researcher with genomic data The National Human Genome Research Institute is offering up to $5.75 million in new funding opportunities to support the development and use of novel analytical methods and efficient high-throughput technologies to comprehensively characterize the organization and function of genomes. The work builds on both the ENCODE and modENCODE projects, which catalog elements that are part of the genome that control gene activity in cells. (more)

May 16, 2011: DNA Sequences: Assembly Required

Exploring the ELSI Universe Leaders of the Genome 10K project, an effort to collect and sequence the DNA of 10,000 vertebrate species have tapped into "crowdsourcing" to improve how all those eventual sequenced genomes are assembled for analysis. Last week, the initial results of The Assemblathon a crowdsourced research genome assembly challenge associated with the Genome 10K project, were presented at the Biology of Genomes meeting at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York . (more)

April 25, 2011: Ethical, legal and social issues of genomic research spotlighted at ELSI Congress 2011

Exploring the ELSI Universe Researchers confronted a plethora of plenaries, sessions, workshops and posters on the ethical, legal and social implications (ELSI) of genomic research at Exploring the ELSI Universe, the 2011 ELSI Research Congress held April 12-14 in Chapel Hill, N.C. The meeting offered 350 attendees sessions on diverse ELSI topics, from the genetics of antisocial behavior to the relationship between tissue donors and biobanks. (more)

April 19, 2011: New User's Guide and Tutorial Helps Disease Researchers Interpret Human Genome

ENCODE Logo The ENCyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) Consortium published a user's guide and tutorial in the April 2011 issue of PLoS Biology. The tutorials are expected to help researchers use the insights into cellular regulation of the genome and the networks of biological interactions of the parts identified by ENCODE to advance their own studies. (more)

March 8, 2011: NHGRI Funds Now Available to Include Standard Measures in Genomic Studies

Phenx LogoNHGRI is pleased to announce supplemental funding to researchers who incorporate standardized measures available from the Consensus Measures for Phenotype and eXposures (PhenX) Toolkit. Such measures allow researcher to accurately record research subjects' physical characteristics and environmental exposures.. (more)

February 7, 2011: The Road to the $1000 Genome Via Nanopores - A Roundup of Sequencing Technology Developments

DNA double-helixWe are nearing the day when a small blood sample can be rapidly sequenced on a handheld device in your doctor's office. By analyzing your DNA, your doctor will have critical information on your current health status and the diseases to which you might be vulnerable in the future. Nanopore sequencing, as it is known, is just one of many promising technologies currently being pursued by National Human Genome Research grantees to achieve high quality human genome sequencing for $1000 or less. (more)

January 10, 2011: Applicants Wanted: Funding Now Available for New Phase of NHGRI Large-Scale Sequencing Program

The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) has started the new year with a bang, offering about $90 million in new funding opportunities to continue its support of large genome sequencing and analysis centers that are the hallmark of its flagship Large-Scale Sequencing Program. (more)

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2010

August 2010: The Road to the $1000 Genome - A Roundup of Sequencing Technology Developments

D N A illustration, image courtesy of Robert Johnson, University of Pennsylvania Recent news articles marking the tenth anniversary of the announcement of the first draft sequence of the human genome also predicted the rise of DNA sequencing technologies that sequence a human genome for $1,000 or less in the next three to five years, a development that would change the face of biomedical research and clinical practice. (more)

July 2010: NIH Receives Donation of Knockout Mice Collection Used To Study Secreted and Transmembrane Proteins

Two mice, one black, one white A full 472 knockout mouse lines - all extensively characterized (phenotyped) - are now publicly available from the National Institutes of Health's Mutant Mouse Regional Resource Center (MMRRC) at the University of California, Davis. Distribution of the lines is supported by the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) and the NIH-funded Knockout Mouse Project (KOMP) repository, operated by UC Davis and the Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute in Oakland, Calif. (more)

May 2010: NHGRI Provides Sneak Peek into Future of Genome Sequencing Program

The NHGRI Large-Scale Sequencing Program comes up for renewal in fiscal year 2011 and the institute's program managers recently recommended to the National Advisory Council of Human Genome Research that the program's sequencing and analysis centers remain on line. The rational is fairly straightforward: there is still so much to learn and the expertise provided by such centers is the most efficient way to learn it. Moreover, the current sequencing centers already have shown their ability to help this field of research transition from basic studies to those with medical value. (more)

April 2010: Answers to Genome Analysis May Be in the Clouds

With NexGen sequencing machines generating cheap DNA data in record amounts, genomics researchers have been on "cloud nine". Except for one thing: the data pouring out of the gene machines are swamping computer infrastructures everywhere - from the smallest RO1 lab to the biggest sequencing center. A solution, however, may be in the clouds - clouds of computers, that is. (more)

February 2010: Dr. William M. Gelbart, NHGRI Advisor and Grantee, Receives Distinguished Service Award from Genetics Society of America

William M. Gelbart, Ph.D. National Human Genome Research Institute advisor and grantee, William M. Gelbart, Ph.D., Harvard University professor of molecular and cell biology, is the recipient of the 2010 Genetic Society of America's (GSA) George W. Beadle award for "outstanding contributions to the community of genetic researchers." Dr. Gelbart was nominated and selected for the honor by his peers for the value of his contributions to the field of genetics. (more)

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2009

October 2009: NHGRI Uses Recovery Act Funds to Accelerate Genome Research to Improve Human Health

Recovery.gov logo with D N A double-helix The National Human Genome Research Institute awards more than $113 million provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The new awards, added to NHGRI's regularly appropriated $367 million budget, will stimulate ground-breaking research ranging from studies aimed at understanding the human genome to those intended to lead to improvements in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human illness. (more)

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2008

September 2008: NHGRI-Funded Scientists Win NIH Director's Pioneer Award

Alice Y. Ting and Saeed Tavazoie Two National Human Genome Research Institute grantees, Alice Y. Ting, Ph.D., and Saeed Tavazoie, Ph.D., are among the 15 scientists of exceptional creativity chosen to receive a 2008 NIH Director's Pioneer Award. The awards enable researchers to pursue innovative approaches that could possibly transform biomedical and behavioral science. (more)

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2007

June 2007: Researchers Can Now Apply for Access to Data from NHGRI Cancer Sequencing Projects

People with A C T G The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) is now accepting requests from researchers who want access to data from two cancer sequencing projects being conducted as part of its Medical Sequencing Program. The goal is to harness the power of NHGRI's large-scale sequencing centers to help turn DNA sequencing into a tool for clinical research and medical practice. (more)

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2005

October 2005: Telomere Researcher Wins NIH Director's Pioneer Award

Titia de Lange Titia de Lange, Ph.D., Leon Hess professor and head of the Laboratory of Cell Biology and Genetics at The Rockefeller University in New York, was named one of 13 recipients of a 2005 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director's Pioneer Award. The award, announced on Sept. 29, will provide Dr. de Lange with up to $500,000 in direct costs per year for five years to fund research in teleomeres. The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) will fund de Lange's award for four out of the five years, totaling $2 million in support. (more)

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2004

October 2004: NHGRI-Funded Researcher Among Pioneer Awardees

Stephen R. Quake, Ph.D. Stephen R. Quake, Ph.D., a researcher funded by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), is among the first recipients of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director's Pioneer Award, which were announced on Wednesday, September 29, 2004. Dr. Quake, formerly of the California Institute of Technology, and currently a professor of bioengineering at Stanford University has received substantial funding from NHGRI for highly innovative research that may dramatically improve the technologies used to advance genomics. NHGRI first supported Dr. Quake with a FIRST award for new investigators in 1997 for his work in developing integrated nanofluidic chip systems and novel chemistry for single molecule DNA sequencing. (more)

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Last Updated: July 21, 2014