"To date, no such resource has been available to researchers interested in studying genetics of the many diseases that NIDDK investigates," said Jay Tischfield, Duncan and Nancy MacMillan Professor of Genetics, and chair of the department of genetics at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. "Rutgers' repository will now enable investigators around the world to conduct population and family-based research on the genetic bases of these painful and debilitating afflictions."
The Rutgers University Cell and DNA Repository (RUCDR), of which Tischfield is scientific director, will collect, maintain and distribute cell lines and DNA for the NIDDK from human populations worldwide. Consistent with NIH initiatives that mandate the sharing of human biomaterials and research data, the new repository will provide researchers opportunities to collaborate internationally and study common pools of subjects to find genes that predispose individuals to such diseases.
The NIDDK award comes rapidly on the heels of a $22.6 million cooperative agreement award to Rutgers from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) for a similar project in support of research into the genetics of mental disorders. Rutgers is now the genetic repository and resource for four NIH institutes: NIMH, NIDDK, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). The NIDA contract provides $8 million to Rutgers and the NIAAA, $5 million to Rutgers.