The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) announced Oct. 1 that the University of Washington (UW) will receive two of the six "Grand Opportunity" NHLBI Large-Scale DNA Sequencing Project awards. The multi-institutional genomics project will examine the genetic connections to heart, lung, and blood diseases that account for three of the leading causes of death in the United States.
The research is co-funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director's Office. The two-year national project, at a total funding of $64 million, was made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
The UW will receive $25 million to launch the Northwest Genomics Center, one of two sequencing centers for the project. The second sequencing center will be located at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge, Mass.
The UW will also receive a $5.2 million grant, under the direction of Dr. Michael Bamshad, UW professor of pediatrics in the Division of Genetic Medicine, to manage the lung disease population research portion of the national project. Ohio State University, Washington University in St. Louis, and the University of Virginia are the other participating institutions managing cardiovascular and blood disease projects.
"This extraordinary collaboration promises to deepen our understanding of the complex interactions of genetics, the environment, and lifestyle choices, helping us bring the best science to the patients who need it most," said NHLBI Director Dr. Elizabeth G. Nabel.
The Northwest Genomics Center in Seattle will be among the first new, large-scale genomics centers focused entirely on medical sequencing to be created in the United States in more than a decade. The UW also received $2 million in funding from the state's Life Sciences Discovery fund to support the Center's infrastructure.
"The Northwest Genomics Center will apply cutting edge, next generation sequencing tech
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