NHLBI launches genomic applications initiative -- $37 million awarded in initial effort

National Institutes of Health National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) has launched a major initiative to advance genomic research related to heart, lung, blood, and sleep health and disorders. On September 30, the NHLBI issued grants totaling $37 million to establish 11 Programs for Genomic Applications (PGAs). The purpose of the PGAs is to identify the human genes particularly relevant to heart, lung, blood, and sleep functions. The NHLBI initiative will apply and expand upon the data and technologies developed to map and sequence the human genome.

Initial sequencing of the human genome -- the first step in the full decoding of the genome -- was completed last June. To optimally apply this knowledge, however, scientists must still decipher many of the individual genes and their specific functions.

"The PGA initiative is one of the NHLBI's most ambitious, wide-ranging efforts to date," says NHLBI Director Dr. Claude Lenfant. "Our challenge is to clearly identify the subsets of genes linked to heart, lung, blood, and sleep function, then to build upon this knowledge to develop better methods for prevention, diagnosis and therapy."

PGA research addresses a biological process or system that is associated with heart, lung, blood, or sleep function and dysfunction. Each PGA is approved for a four-year period beginning in fiscal year 2000, with possible renewal for an additional four-year period. Specific goals include: Studies to link genes to biological function on a genomic scale.
Free and immediate access to all information and reagents by the research community, thereby allowing other scientists to develop separate relevant studies cost effectively.
Short-term advanced training and educational programs for other researchers on the use of the data and related technologies.
PGAs may be composed of multiple grants to investigators at several site

Contact: NHLBI Communications Office
NIH/National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

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