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Pathogens and Vectors

Program Rationale

Genomic sequencing contributes to our understanding of the molecular basis of human pathogenesis. It offers tremendous potential to direct the discovery of diagnostic targets, drugs and vaccines against parasites, as well as the identification of novel vector control targets. To date, sequencing efforts have only begun to scratch the surface of the vast diversity of organisms that exist; understanding this diversity is crucial to our ability to control infectious diseases. In response to the need for continued efforts in this area and to promote collaborations among scientists and interested funding agencies, the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) have started to coordinate their efforts in the sequencing of human pathogens and vectors of infectious diseases.

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Process for Selecting New Pathogen and Vector Sequencing Targets

In November 2006, NHGRI and NIAID jointly sponsored a workshop (See: NHGRI-NIAID Workshop on Eukaryotic Pathogens and Disease Vectors Sequencing PDF file) to i) help identify the most significant human eukaryotic pathogens and invertebrate vectors of infectious diseases for potential sequencing; ii) evaluate the usefulness and limitations of pathogen and vector genomic data for studying infectious diseases; and iii) discover potential targets for vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics, and vector control. In response to recommendations developed at the workshop, the two institutes established a Human Pathogens and Disease Vectors Sequencing Target Selection Working Group (See Group Rosters). The group was charged to work in consultation with the scientific community to generate community-based sequencing projects and to recommend high priority human eukaryotic pathogens and invertebrate vectors as potential sequencing targets. All sequencing targets and rationales proposed by the Working Group will be assessed by the Coordinating Committee for Sequencing Target Selection (See Group Rosters), the National Advisory Council on Human Genome Research, and the NIAID Microbial Sequencing Program.

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Approved Sequencing Projects

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Program Contacts

Lu Wang, Ph.D.
Program Director
Large Scale Sequencing

Maria Y. Giovanni, Ph.D.
Assistant Director, Genomics/Sequencing

Deirdre A. Joy, Ph.D.
Program Officer
Parasite and Vectors Genomics

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Last Reviewed: March 27, 2012