NIH awards consortium $6.5M to create predictive models for precision medicine

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The National Institutes of Health awarded a consortium of universities $6.5 million to establish a technology resource center, dubbed the Center for Reproducible Biomedical Modeling.

The consortium — which includes Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology at the Icahn School of Medicine at New York City-based Mount Sinai Health System, the University of Washington in Seattle, the University of Connecticut in Storrs and the University of Auckland in New Zealand — will use the funding to build up resources to support researchers developing predictive models of biological systems.

These predictive models will inform future research on precision medicine, according to the consortium. Tailoring healthcare therapies and services for individual patients rests on detailed knowledge of biological systems, such as how the genetic makeup of a cell will affect an organism's features.

"Ultimately, we believe these models will help physicians precisely treat individual patients and help bioengineers design powerful microorganisms that can sense and disrupt disease," Jonathan Karr, PhD, assistant professor at the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology and one of the project directors at the center. Dr. Karr's project focuses on developing a molecular database for cell modeling to help researchers access information needed for designing and analyzing predictive models.

Outside of providing technical resources, the Center for Reproducible Biomedical Modeling will also work with researchers to verify models prior to submitting results for publication. So far, the center has recruited nine partner journals.

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