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NHGRI funds large-scale sequencing centers

BETHESDA, Md., Mon., Nov. 20, 2006 -- The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) today announced the results of the recent competition for support of its three large-scale sequencing centers, strengthening efforts to use the power of DNA sequencing to unlock the genomic secrets of human diseases. Also today, NHGRI and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), both part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), announced that all three sequencing centers will devote a significant part of their efforts to The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Pilot Project, which is testing the feasibility of a large-scale, systematic approach to identify important genomic changes involved in cancer.

"Genomic sequencing has already made a substantial impact on both biological and medical research. A major focus of the next phase will be medical sequencing, which involves using sequencing technologies to identify genes that contribute to common human diseases, most of which have so far eluded gene hunters," said NHGRI Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. "These discoveries will shed new light on the biological pathways involved in human health and disease, which in turn will lead to better strategies for diagnosis, treatment and prevention. It is gratifying that our sequencing centers are going to play a major role in bringing the promise of personalized health care closer to reality."

The sequencing centers were selected through a competitive, peer-reviewed process based on scientific merit of each center's application, as well as costs and efficiency. The three NHGRI-supported, large-scale sequencing centers, their principal investigators and their approximate Fiscal Year (FY) 2007 funding levels are: Broad Institute Sequencing Platform, The Eli & Edythe L. Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University; Eric S. Lander, Ph.D.; Cambridge, Mass.; $48 million. Washington University Genome Sequencing Center, Washi
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Contact: Geoff Spencer
spencerg@mail.nih.gov
301-402-0911
NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute
20-Nov-2006


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