The Genes, Environment and Health Initiative (GEI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) today awarded grants, estimated to be up to $5.5 million over two years for six studies aimed at finding genetic factors that influence the risks for stroke, glaucoma, high blood pressure, prostate cancer and other common disorders.
The grantees will use a genome-wide association study to rapidly scan markers across the complete sets of DNA, or genomes, of large groups of people to find genetic variants associated with a particular disease, condition or trait.
"Genome-wide association studies are helping us take major strides towards identifying the genetic variants associated with common diseases," said National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) Acting Director Alan E. Guttmacher, M.D., who is co-chair of the GEI coordinating committee. "This initiative will yield valuable information about the biological pathways that lead to health and disease and about how genetic variants, environmental factors and behavioral choices interact to influence disease risk. Such information is vital to our efforts to develop more personalized approaches to health care."
GEI is collaboration between genetic researchers and environmental scientists. Six GEI-supported genome-wide association studies, overseen by NHGRI, are already under way. Two additional GEI studies, supported and managed by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, have also begun. In addition, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences is overseeing GEI-supported research that seeks to develop wearable sensors and other technologies to accurately measure personal exposures to environmental agents.
Funding for the latest round of studies was contributed by all of NIH's 27 institutes and centers. The principal investigators, their approximate funding for fiscal years 2008 and 2009, and their research projects are:
|Contact: Geoff Spencer|
NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute