Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Genotyping & Gene Expression
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

NIH Grants to Investigate Disease-Related Variations in Genetic Makeup

Published: Monday, September 09, 2013
Last Updated: Monday, September 09, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Studies focus on underlying susceptibilities in minority populations.

Five research teams have received four-year awards to study the genomics of disease susceptibility in ethnically diverse populations. The projects aim to unravel the subtle variations in genetic makeup among groups — including African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Hispanics and more — that may account for differences in risks for conditions such as high blood pressure and high blood lipids, in addition to common diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

These research teams are receiving support — more than $3.8 million in fiscal year 2013, and nearly $14 million over four years, based on the availability of funds — through the Population Architecture Using Genomics and Epidemiology (PAGE) program of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health. The current grantees are the second group of researchers to be funded through the PAGE program.

“The goal of the PAGE program is to investigate ancestrally diverse populations to gain a better understanding of how genetic factors influence susceptibility to disease,” said epidemiologist Lucia Hindorff, Ph.D., PAGE program director at NHGRI.

Such factors include variations called single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs. These are tiny spelling changes in the DNA code that can affect a person’s risk of developing a disease or alter a response to medications. Over the years, a research approach called a genome-wide association study (GWAS) has led to the discovery of hundreds of gene variants associated with common diseases. This next phase of the PAGE program will focus on expanding the number of genetic variants analyzed to include those that are more rare and likely to be functional. Scientists hope that these common and rare genetic variants will allow them to piece together the complex biological picture of many diseases and lead to more personalized prevention, diagnoses and treatment.

To date, much of this research — including the initial round of PAGE grants — has focused on whites. The new round of grants supports studies on groups of more diversified heritages.

“We wanted the second group of grants to focus on non-whites because many tend to have a greater incidence of disease,” said Dr. Hindorff. For example, African-Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans tend to have a higher incidence of high blood pressure and obesity, along with accompanying heart disease and risk of stroke compared to whites.

“There are often population-related biological pathways that contribute to disease, so looking at many traits and diseases together gives a more complete picture of the role of genetic variation,” she said. “All of the funded studies take advantage of large epidemiological studies and datasets.”

The following groups have been awarded grants (pending available funds):

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, $3.1 million

Principal Investigator: Kari North, Ph.D.

Dr. North and her colleagues collaborate in a program called CALiCo II, or Genetic Epidemiology of Causal Variants Across the Life Course Phase II. The partnership focuses on population-based studies aimed at uncovering potential connections between genetic variants and complex diseases and conditions, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and hypertension. The scientists will analyze the DNA collected from several of these large studies involving many Hispanic and African American participants to pinpoint rare variants that might play roles in these diseases and conditions.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, $2.9 million

Co-Principal Investigators: Charles Kooperberg, Ph.D., and Ulrike Peters, Ph.D.

The researchers will focus on minority populations to try to better understand the impact of rare variants on the development of common diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer, and conditions such as inflammation, high glucose, insulin resistance and abnormal lipid levels. They plan to study rare gene variations found in the genome’s protein-coding regions and their association with these conditions and diseases in African-Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans.

To do this, the team will study participants from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), a long-term national health study focused on strategies for chronic disease prevention. The scientists will compare the DNA of the WHI subjects to the DNA sequences of approximately 350,000 rare gene variants that are associated with these diseases and conditions. The scientists hope that identifying new genome locations and variants associated with disease susceptibility may provide new clues to disease development and help in screening and drug discovery.

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and the University of Hawaii, Honolulu, $3.1 million

Co-Principal Investigators: Christopher Haiman, Ph.D., and Loic Le Marchand, M.D., Ph.D.

Drs. Haiman, Marchand and their co-workers will examine the DNA from samples collected from the Multiethnic Cohort (MEC), a population-based study of more than 215,000 individuals ages 45 to 75 from California and Hawaii (which includes several racial/ethnic groups such as African-Americans, Japanese-Americans, Hispanics, Native Hawaiians and whites who are at varying risk for chronic diseases. They will study gene variants linked to a wide range of diseases and conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, common cancers, fasting insulin levels, high blood glucose and high lipids. The researchers hope they will uncover new gene variant-disease associations, and that their findings will enable them to build models to understand disease risks in these diverse groups.

Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York City, $2.9 million

Principal Investigator: Ruth Loos, Ph.D.

Dr. Loos and her colleagues will examine data from approximately 29,000 participants of the Mount Sinai BioMe Biobank, an ongoing resource based on electronic medical records from several ethnically diverse communities in New York City. The researchers aim to gain a greater understanding of the underlying causes of differences in disease incidence in these communities by studying the differences in genetic make-up in these groups that contribute to metabolic, heart, and kidney disorders. The new insights are expected to improve treatment of at-risk populations and may lead to reductions in health disparities among underserved minority populations.

Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J., $2.9 million

Co-Principal Investigators: Tara Matise, Ph.D., and Steven Buyske, Ph.D.

The PAGE coordinating center will serve as a centralized resource to help organize and manage research study logistics, as well as data gathering and analyses, and to facilitate collaborations. The coordinating center team includes statistical, population and molecular geneticists, genetic epidemiologists, computer and information scientists and biostatisticians. It will also serve as a data clearinghouse for results.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 5,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

The Genetics of Blood Pressure
Researchers have identifed areas of the genome associated with blood-pressure including 17 previously unknown loci.
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Detecting Bacterial Infections in Newborns
Researchers tested an alternative way to diagnose bacterial infections in infants—by analyzing RNA biosignatures from a small blood sample.
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Genetic Misdiagnoses of Heart Condition
Analysis found several genetic variations previously linked with a heart condition were harmless, leading to condition misdiagnosis.
Wednesday, September 07, 2016
Public Support for National Study
Survey shows the majority of respondents support or show willingness for national precision medicine study.
Thursday, August 18, 2016
How Parkinson’s Disease Alters Brain Activity Over Time
The NIH study provides a new tool for testing experimental medications aimed at alleviating symptoms and slowing the rate at which the diseases damage the brain.
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Schizophrenia, Autism Share Genetic Causes
Monkey brain developmental atlas pinpoints when, where genes activate.
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Depression Genetics Insight from Crowd-Sourced Data
Genome sites liked to depression have been discovered from data shared by people who had purchased their genetic profiles online.
Tuesday, August 02, 2016
NIH Funds Precision Medicine
NIH have committed roughly $31M to launch a new program for Transdisciplinary Collaborative Centers for health disparities research.
Friday, July 29, 2016
NIH Funds Million-Person Medicine Study
NIH announces $55million in awards to build foundations for ambitious Cohort Program that aims to engage 1 million participants in lifestyle, environments and genetics research.
Friday, July 08, 2016
NIH Funds Biobank To Support Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort Program
$142 million over five years will be awarded to the Mayo Clinic to establish the world’s largest research-cohort biobank for the PMI Cohort Program
Friday, May 27, 2016
Tick Genome Reveals Secrets of a Successful Bloodsucker
NIH-funded study could lead to new tick control methods.
Tuesday, February 09, 2016
Genomic Signature Shared by Five Types of Cancer
National Institutes of Health researchers have identified a striking signature in tumor DNA that occurs in five different types of cancer.
Monday, February 08, 2016
Genome-Wide Study Yields Markers of Lithium Response
An international consortium of scientists has identified a stretch of chromosome that is associated with responsiveness to the mood-stabilizing medication lithium among patients with bipolar disorder.
Monday, February 01, 2016
Schizophrenia’s Strongest Known Genetic Risk Deconstructed
Suspect gene may trigger runaway synaptic pruning during adolescence – NIH-funded study.
Thursday, January 28, 2016
NIH Genome Sequencing Program Targets the Genomic Bases of Common, Rare Disease
The National Institutes of Health will fund a set of genome sequencing and analysis centers whose research will focus on understanding the genomic bases of common and rare human diseases.
Friday, January 15, 2016
Scientific News
Mass Spec Technology Drives Innovation Across the Biopharma Workflow
With greater resolving power, analytical speed, and accuracy, new mass spectrometry technology and techniques are infiltrating the biopharmaceuticals workflow.
One Step Closer to Precision Medicine for Chronic Lung Disease Sufferers
A study led by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and National Jewish Health, has provided evidence of links between SNPs and known COPD blood protein biomarkers.
Heart Arrhythmia Caused by Mosaic of Mutant Cells
Researchers have solved the genetic mystery of an infant suffering from heart arrhythmia.
CES Score May Predict Response to Cancer Treatment
Researchers identify new type of biomarker that helps predict prognosis and response to several types of cancer treatment.
New Therapeutic Target for Crohn’s Disease
A promising new target for drugs that treat IBD has been identified along with a possible biomarker for IBD severity.
Uncovering Water Bear Resilience
A protein identified in water bears can protect DNA of human cells from lethal doses of radiation damage.
Smart Material Hunts Cancers
Team has created smart material that locates and images cancer or tumour sites in tissue.
Peer Reviewed Study Demonstrates Mass Spec Technique
The peer reviewed study demonstrates MS workflow, TMTCalibrator workflow, which dramatically enhances detection of key early stage Alzheimer’s biomarkers.
Stem Cells Growing 3D Lung-in-a-Dish
Researchers have created 3D lung-like tissue from lung-derived stem cells. The tissue can be used to study lung diseases.
The Genetics of Blood Pressure
Researchers have identifed areas of the genome associated with blood-pressure including 17 previously unknown loci.
Skyscraper Banner

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
5,000+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!