"This is an extraordinary team effort to which we all bring individual expertise," Nickerson said. She and Rieder are leaders in medical sequencing of cardiovascular, blood and lung diseases. Shendure is one of the pioneers in the development and application of next generation sequencing technology, and Green is a world leader in developing new software tools for sequence analysis, including the tools that helped to generate the human genome sequence.
Bamshad, who will head the lung disease component of the national project, is noted for his work on common genetic variations in the United States population and how these affect individual and ethnic group differences in susceptibility to disease.
The NHLBI Large-Scale DNA Sequencing Project will explore many common forms of heart, lung, and blood diseases. The ethnically diverse individuals to be studied from the large, long-term population studies have given their permission for the information from their DNA to be shared with other investigators.
"The national project will tackle not only susceptibility to these common, complex diseases, but also resistance," Nickerson said. She noted that it is possible that understanding disease resistance could provide new avenues for the prevention and treatment of these disorders. For example, some of the research groups will compare samples from people who have very high cholesterol against those who have very low cholesterol to see what genes and differences contribute to these e
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