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Developmental Genotype-Tissue Expression (dGTEx)

The goal of the dGTEx initiative is to establish a resource database and associated tissue bank to study gene expression patterns in multiple reference tissues during human and non-human primate developmental stages, building upon the completed Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) project.

The Developmental Genotype-Tissue Expression (dGTEx) project, co-funded by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), studies gene expression patterns in the first 18 years of life by analyzing tissues from recently deceased pediatric donors.


The main goal of the project is to establish a molecular and data analysis resource as well as a tissue bank to study the regulation of gene expression in multiple relatively healthy reference neonatal, pediatric, and adolescent tissues. Other researchers will be able to use this resource to advance our understanding of a myriad of disease conditions.

Additionally, the Non-Human Primate Developmental Genotype-Tissue Expression (NHP dGTEx) project, co-funded by NHGRI, NIMH and the Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP), studies developmental gene expression patterns in two species of non-human primates: Macaca mulatta (rhesus macaque), an Old World monkey, and Callithrix jacchus (common marmoset), a New World monkey. These patterns will be compared to human patterns to help inform interpretation of the data in humans and gain greater insight about the similarities and differences in gene expression during primate development more generally. 

Study Design

Developmental GTEx (dGTEx) was created after the successful Common Fund project, GTEx (2010 - 2019), which investigated how genetic variation impacts gene expression in multiple tissues across individuals. The goal of dGTEx is to expand the GTEx dataset to include early developmental stages to understand how tissue-specific gene expression patterns change throughout human development. The dGTEx Project will establish a database, data portal, and associated tissue bank with data and samples from a minimum of 120 post-mortem donors, including up to 75 tissues from 30 donors for each of the following age groups: postnatal (0-2 years), early childhood (2-8 years), pre-pubertal (~8-12.5 years), post-pubertal (~12.5-18 years). This resource of gene-expression levels, genetic data, and samples will be broadly available for further research. The dGTEx resource will be a powerful tool to provide a comprehensive dataset of gene expression across a wide range of human tissues throughout development, filling a gap in genomic databases across developmental stages.

The Non-Human Primate Developmental Genotype-Tissue Expression (NHP dGTEx) Project will establish a resource database and associated tissue bank with data and samples from old world and new world primates at developmental stages corresponding to those in humans, as well as pre-natal stages. NHP dGTEx will provide datasets complementary to those from human dGTEx using non-human primates. NHP dGTEx will consist of up to 54 tissues from rhesus macaques and common marmosets across prenatal and postnatal developmental stages. This project will allow cross-species comparisons through the collection of high-quality tissue samples from well-characterized animals, whole genome and RNAseq data, and analysis of tissue- and cell-type specific gene expression at different stages of primate development.


Figure 1. Schematic representation of the sampling timepoints across the developmental timeline of rhesus macaques (upper), marmosets (middle) and humans (lower). G=gestational day, d=day, mo=month, yr=year. n= number of donors per cohort. Credit: Oregon Health & Science University.

Funding Opportunities


RFA-HG-23-005Data Integration and Statistical Analysis Methods (DISAM) (U01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

RFA-HD-21-008Pediatric Biospecimen Procurement Center (BPC) Supporting the Developmental Gene Expression (dGTEx) Project (U24 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

RFA-HG-20-039Laboratory, Data Analysis, and Coordinating Center (LDACC) for the Developmental Genotype-Tissue Expression Project (U24 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

RFA-HG-21-026: Non-Human Primate Developmental Genotype-Tissue Expression (NHP dGTEx) Project (U24 Clinical Trials Not Allowed)


Please refer to the links below to find more information about the concept and discussion during NHGRI’s 2020 and 2021 February Councils.




dGTEx Locations

dGTEx BCP and LDACC locations map


InstitutionLocationAward Number
Biospecimen Procurement Center (BPC)
Children’s Hospital of PhiladelphiaPhiladelphia, PAHD106537
Children’s National Medical CenterWashington, DC
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical CenterCincinnati, OH
Johns Hopkins All Children’s HospitalSt. Petersburg, FL
National Disease Research InterchangePhiladelphia, PA
University of Maryland Brain and Tissue BankBaltimore, MD
University of Rochester Medical CenterRochester, NY
Dell Children’s Medical Center at University of Texas, AustinAustin, TX
University of Mississippi Medical CenterJackson, MS
University of Louisville School of Medicine – Norton Children’s HospitalLouisville, KY
Nicklaus Children’s HospitalMiami, FL
Laboratory, Data Analysis, and Coordinating Center (LDACC)
New York Genome CenterNew York, NYHG012090
Massachusetts General HospitalBoston, MA
Broad InstituteCambridge, MA
Stanford UniversityStanford, CA
Harvard Medical SchoolBoston, MA
Yale UniversityNew Haven, CTHG012108
Baylor College of MedicineHouston, TX
Multispecies Non-Human Primate Research Center
Oregon Health & Science UniversityPortland, ORHG012483
Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridge, MA
Broad InstituteCambridge, MA
Yale UniversityNew Haven, CT


Program Directors

Jyoti Dayal
Jyoti G. Dayal, M.S.
  • Program Director
  • Division of Genomic Medicine
Alexander Arguello
Alexander Arguello, Ph.D.
  • Program Director
  • Division of Genome Sciences
Sheethal Jose
Sheethal Jose, Ph.D.
  • Program Director
  • Division of Genomics and Society
John Ilekis
John Ilekis, Ph.D.
  • Program Director
  • Pregnancy and Perinatology Branch, NICHD
Generic Profile Photo
Mollie Minear, Ph.D.
  • Program Director
  • Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Branch, NICHD

Scientific Program Analysts

Jake Baroch
Jake Baroch, B.S.
  • Scientific Program Analyst
  • Division of Genome Sciences

Last updated: May 17, 2024