NIH boosts genomics initiatives with $75M funding

The National Institutes of Health has provided $75 million in funding over the next five years to support additional innovation in genomics and risk assessment for diverse populations.

Five things to know:

1. The new funding builds upon its current support to a coordinating center and clinical sites focused on understanding disease risk and susceptibility by combining genomic and environmental factors.

2. The NIH will award $61 million over five years to four clinical sites and six enhanced diversity clinical sites in the U.S. as well as $13.4 million to the eMERGE Network coordinating center at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

3. The new clinical sites will be led by:

· Iftikhar Kullo, MD, at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
· Dan Roden, MD, at Vanderbilt University Medical Center
· Elizabeth Karlson, MD, at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston
· Rex Chisholm, PhD, at Northwestern University in Chicago

The enhanced clinical diversity sites are led by:

· Nita Limdi, PhD, at the University of Alabama at Birmingham
· Eimear Kenny, PhD, at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City
· John Harley, MD, at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
· Chunhua Weng, PhD, at Columbia University in New York City
· Hakon Hakonarson, MD, PhD, at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
· Gail Pairitz Jarvik, MD, PhD, at University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle

4. The clinical sites are recruiting around 10,000 patients to participate in the trials with around 35 percent from diverse groups; the diverse clinical sites will recruit 15,000 patients with around 75 percent coming from diverse groups.

5. The network also aims to incorporate computer-based programs in a better way to analyze EHR and provide clinical decision support.

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