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Genes, Environment and Health Initiative invests in genetic studies, environmental monitoring
Date:9/4/2007

tionnaires and summaries of genotype and phenotype data. The second is the controlled-access portion of the database, which allows approved researchers to download individual-level genotype and phenotype data from which the study participants personal identifiers, such as names, have been removed.

The Exposure Biology Program, which makes up the other component of GEI, is being coordinated primarily by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), in partnership with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), all of which are part of NIH. This program will support interdisciplinary teams of basic scientists, bioengineers, physician-scientists and others working to: 1) develop environmental sensors for measuring toxins, dietary intake, physical activity, psychosocial stress and addictive substances; 2) identify biomarkers in the human body that indicate activation of disease mechanisms such as oxidative stress, inflammation and DNA damage; and 3) integrate sensor and biomarker technologies so that they can be applied to genome-wide association studies to better understand gene-environment interactions.

Common human diseases such as cancer and diabetes result from a complex interplay between genes and environmental risk factors, said Brenda Weis, Ph.D., NIEHS senior science advisor. The goal of this program is to develop the technology to better understand how environmental exposures affect disease risk.

Cooperative agreements totaling approximately $19 million, including an additional commitment of $5.6 million from NIEHS, have been awarded to 34 investigators to develop these exciting new technologies. The principal investigators, project titles and approximate total funding levels are listed below in five areas of emphasis:

Environmental Sensors for Personal Exposure Assessment

Ginger Chew,
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Contact: Geoff Spencer
spencerg@mail.nih.gov
301-402-0911
NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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