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NIEHS and UNC to collaborate on registry of 20,000 subjects

r older to give consent.

Dr. Blackshear said that the registry will be unusual in that patient identifiers will be maintained in coded form, giving scientists the ability to re-contact participants at a later date for follow-up studies. "There were no resources such as this available to NIH or UNC researchers prior to this, although there are many available anonymous DNA repositories," Dr. Blackshear said. Data from the follow-up studies will allow scientists to identify groups of individuals with genetic polymorphisms in "environmentally sensitive" genes and possibly to correlate their genetic variants with patients' clinical histories and current health status.

"The data collected from these studies may be used to define environmental risk factors and develop preventative strategies to reduce the incidence of disease," Dr. Blackshear said.

"This is a pioneering initiative," said Dr. Paul B. Watkins, professor of medicine and director of the General Clinical Research Center (GCRC) at UNC. "Clearly, this is the next step that's needed to increase our understanding of how genes interact with the environment, including the body's response to medicines."

Recruitment for the registry will begin soon at the Ambulatory Care Center at Mason Farm Road and S. Columbia Street in Chapel Hill, N.C. Other sites at UNC affiliated medical facilities may be added in 2004. Dr. Blackshear may be contacted on the registry, at 919-541-4899.


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Contact: Tom Hawkins
hawkins@niehs.nih.gov
919-541-1402
NIH/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
13-Jan-2004


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