NIH backs new $7M genome center for All of Us research program

The National Institutes of Health awarded $7 million to the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology to assess DNA sequencing technologies that diagnose and treat both common and rare diseases, as part of NIH's All of Us Research Program.

The All of Us Research Program is a comprehensive study funded by NIH with the goal of compiling a broader and more representative database of Americans' genetic information. The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, which is also part of NIH, is funding the new genome center.

With the financial grant, HudsonAlpha, based in Huntsville, Ala., will use long-read whole genome sequencing technologies to generate genetic data on an estimated 6,000 samples from participants of the All of Us program. Long-read sequencing assesses DNA in larger segments than standard sequencing technologies, revealing genetic variations that traditionally go undetected.

Coupled with the 1 million whole genome sequences All of Us plans to deliver over the next several years, research at the new genome center will expand the collection of genomic structural variation data and clinical data available for research.

"Through this partnership with NCATS, we'll be able to offer approved researchers an even greater depth of genetic information than originally planned, making the resource even more valuable for them and the diverse communities we seek to help," said Eric Dishman, director of All of Us, according to a news release.

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