2012 Release: NIH ENCODE grants advance effort to survey entire human instruction book

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National Human Genome Research Institute

NIH ENCODE grants advance effort to survey entire human instruction book

ENCODElogoBethesda, Md., Mon. Sept. 24, 2012 — Grants totaling $30.3 million in fiscal year 2012 will expand the ENCyclopedia Of DNA Elements (ENCODE), a comprehensive catalog of functional elements that control the expression of genetic information in a cell, the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health, announced today. The ENCODE project's goal is to provide the scientific community with information they need to better understand the role that the genome plays in health and disease.

"These grants build on the momentum of recently published ENCODE findings in which researchers provided a highly detailed and global view of the human genome," said Elise A. Feingold, Ph.D., program director for ENCODE in NHGRI's Division of Extramural Research. "We have already made tremendous progress, but much work remains to complete the catalog of functional elements. These grants, part of a set of grants that will be awarded over a four-year period contingent on the availability of funds, will allow us to build on those results and take the next significant steps in deepening our understanding of the entire human genome."

The new grants will advance ENCODE by expanding its investigation of functional elements to a considerably larger number of human cells and tissues, and a deeper set of data types. Analysis of the mouse genome, which had been a relatively small component of ENCODE, will also be expanded. The goal is to enhance use of this model organism in studying a wide range of tissues not readily accessible in the human, and to tap into the power of comparative genomic analysis to increase understanding of the function of the human genome.

NHGRI will also establish a data coordinating center and a data analysis center, which together will make the ENCODE data more useful to the scientific community. New efforts will be supported to develop novel computational methods to improve analysis of ENCODE data and to make the data more useful for the study of human biology and disease.

All of the data generated by the ENCODE project will be deposited into public databases as soon as they are experimentally verified. Free and rapid access to these data will enable researchers around the world to pose new questions and gain new insights into how the human genome functions. For more information about the ENCODE project, please visit http://www.genome.gov/ENCODE .

Recipients of the awards are:

ENCODE Production Centers

ENCODE Data Coordination Center

ENCODE Data Analysis Center

ENCODE Computational Analysis Awards

NHGRI is one of the 27 institutes and centers at NIH. The NHGRI Division of Extramural Research supports grants for research and training and career development at sites nationwide. Additional information about NHGRI can be found at www.genome.gov.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.


Omar McCrimmon, NHGRI

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Posted: September 24, 2012