TGen News & Press Releases : TGen receives $50,000 to find genetic origins of rare breast cancer

10,000 investigators now have access to the latest genetic scanning technologies

Phoenix, AZ, June 17, 2005-The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) today announced the receipt of a $7.1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to continue a project designed to uncover the genetic causes of neurological and mental health disorders using sophisticated genetic scanning technologies. This award is part of a greater $25 million grant that TGen will share with three other microarray centers that are part of the NIH Neuroscience Microarray Consortium supported by the NIH Neuroscience Blueprint (http://neuroscienceblueprint.nih.gov).

The Microarray Consortium was initially funded in 2002 by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS; www.ninds.nih.gov) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH; www.nimh.nih.gov). The new award is supported by these two institutes as well as the thirteen other NIH Neuroscience Blueprint institutes. The consortium combines technology resources from TGen, Duke University in Durham, NC, and the University of California in Los Angeles. Because of the consortium's success and an expanding need for consortium services in neuroscience, a fourth research center, Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, will be added to the program in June.

About 10,000 investigators from the 15 different NIH institutes that are part of the NIH Neuroscience Blueprint will have access to the technology and expertise within the consortium. These investigators will be able to further their research through the use of microarray technology used for scanning through the entire human genome (3 billion letters) and all of the genes for which it encodes (30,000-40,000 genes).

"The application of the newest and most sophisticated genome scanning technologies will allow us to unlock the mysteries of how the brain functions normally, as well as what causes common human disorders like Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, and others," said Dr. Dietrich A. Stephan, Director of the Neurogenomics Division at the Translational Genomics Research Institute.

Genomic scanning technologies make use of the human genome sequence to visualize how gene flavors or aberrant amounts of genes can cause human disease. The consortium centers specialize in technologies which provide information about the genes turned on or off in the diseased tissues being studied. Scientists use these microarray technologies to compare genetic patterns between an individual with a disease and an unaffected person. Using this information, investigators can identify the root causes responsible for certain disorders so that diagnostics and treatments can be developed that have a direct impact on the disease mechanisms.

The Microarray Consortium initially received $9 million from the NIH from June 2002 to June 2005, and the new funding will be approximately $25 million over the next five years.

"It is exciting to have the microarray consortium expanded in capacity and expertise to serve the entire community of neuroscientists funded by NIH institutes. The application of genomic technologies in neuroscience is an important step in the development of future therapies for diseases and disorders of the nervous system," said Dr. Thomas Miller, Program Director of Extramural Research Programs at the NINDS.

The consortium worked with 5 AM solutions, a software development company in Phoenix, to create a central database for data generated by the consortium. These data are freely available so the entire scientific community can benefit from this publicly funded endeavor.

The Neuroscience Blueprint institutes are components of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland and are the nation's primary supporters of basic and applied biomedical research on the brain and nervous system. Additional information about the NIH Neuroscience Microarray Consortium can be accessed at http://arrayconsortium.tgen.org.

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About TGen
The mission of the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is to make and translate genomic discoveries into advances in human health. Translational genomics research is a relatively new field employing innovative advances arising from the Human Genome Project and applying them to the development of diagnostics, prognostics and therapies for cancer, neurological disorders, diabetes and other complex diseases. TGen is focused on personalized medicine and plans to accomplish its goals through robust and disease-focused research programs and its state-of-the-art bioinformatics and computational biology facilities.

About Duke
The consortium's site at Duke University will operate in concert with the Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy (IGSP). The IGSP, established in 2000 with $200 million in institutional funds, represents Duke University's comprehensive response to the broad challenges of the genomic revolution. IGSP activities are organized through five research centers: the Center for Genome Technology, the Center for Human Genetics, the Center for Human Disease Models, the Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology and the Center for Genome Ethics, Law and Policy.

About UCLA
The UCLA Department of Human Genetics provides a world-class research and teaching focal point for campus-wide activities in human genetics and gene therapy. Hailing from the School of Medicine and the College of Letters and Science, the department's diverse faculty is housed in the Gonda Research Center, which offers specialized core laboratories for sequencing and genotyping, array technology, FISH techniques and bioinformatics.

About Yale
The scientific interests of the faculty at Yale represent the full range of the broad and rapidly growing field of neuroscience. Leaders in areas ranging from the genetic and structural analysis of single member channels to the functional characterization of the neocortex are represented among this group of outstanding scientists. The interdisciplinary research programs of Yale neuroscience faculty are central to Yale's Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program (INP). This unique, broad-based training program can best be described as a "department without walls," with the primary purpose of providing students with a maximum of diversity and depth in the most important areas of neuroscience research. The neuroscience faculty members at Yale command more than half of the University's biomedical research budget and occupy more than 60,000 square feet of well-equipped laboratory space.

About 5 AM Solutions
5AM provides software solutions and technology services for the biomedical research industry. Life science organizations who view data organization, workflow optimization, analysis and data mining, and geographically independent collaboration as critical to their success are our target customers. Our web-based, interoperable solutions access Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS), support HIPAA guidelines and enforce 21 CFR 11-compliance, while granting insight into the complex data produced by the "omic" revolution represent the core of our expertise. We share a common passion to advance medicine and science through our contribution of state-of-the-art software development. www.5amsolutions.com

Media Contacts:
Galen Perry (602) 343-8423
Amy Erickson (602) 343-8522


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