Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
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 3,200+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,800+ 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

Connectome Map More Than Doubles Human Cortex’s Known Regions
Researchers at NIH have developed software that automatically detects the “fingerprint” of each of these areas in an individual’s brain scans.
Saturday, July 23, 2016
Uncovering a New Principle in Chemotherapy Resistance in Breast Cancer
The NIH study has revealed an entirely unexpected process for acquiring drug resistance that bypasses the need to re-establish DNA damage repair in breast cancers that have mutant BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes.
Thursday, July 21, 2016
Brain Circuits Helps People Cope With Stress
Researchers at NIH have identified brain patterns in humans that appear to underlie “resilient coping,” to stress that help some people handle stressful situations better than others.
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
NIH Investment Into HIV Research Expands
Funding has been awarded to six research teams to lead collaborative investigations worldwide toward an HIV cure.
Thursday, July 14, 2016
Treatment Advancement for Gaucher and Parkinson's Diseases
NIH scientists identify molecule that may act as a possible treatment of neurological diseases.
Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Use it or Lose it: Visual Activity Regenerates Links Between Eye, Brain
The mouse study is first to show visual stimulation helps re-wire visual system and partially restores sight.
Tuesday, July 12, 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
Largest-Ever Study of Breast Cancer Genetics in Black Women
The study will identify genetic factors that may underlie breast cancer disparities.
Thursday, July 07, 2016
NIH-Funded Center to Study Inefficiencies in Clinical Trials
Researchers at the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) and Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) have received a major federal grant to study how multisite clinical trials of new drugs and therapies in children and adults can be conducted more rapidly and efficiently.
Thursday, July 07, 2016
NIH Funds Zika Virus Study Involving U.S. Olympic Team
Researchers will monitor potential Zika virus exposure among a subset of athletes traveling to Brazil.
Wednesday, July 06, 2016
PREVAIL Treatment Trial for Men with Persistent Ebola Viral RNA
The six-month study will enroll 60 to 120 EVD survivors.
Wednesday, July 06, 2016
Implementation Science Approaches to Reduce Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission
The NIH study will investigate best practices to ease major disease burden in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Friday, July 01, 2016
Significant Expansion Of Data Available In The Genomic Data Commons
Cancer genomic profile information from 18,000 adult cancer patients will be added to the database.
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Some Women With PCOS May Have Adrenal Disorder
Researchers at NIH have found that a subgroup of women with PCOS, a leading cause of infertility, may produce excess adrenal hormones.
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Manufactured Stem Cells To Advance Clinical Research
Clinical-grade cell line will enable development of new therapies and accelerate early-stage clinical research.
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Scientific News
Liquid Biopsies: Miracle Diagnostic or Next New Fad?
Thanks to the development of highly specific gene-amplification and sequencing technologies liquid biopsies access more biomarkers relevant to more cancers than ever before.
Connectome Map More Than Doubles Human Cortex’s Known Regions
Researchers at NIH have developed software that automatically detects the “fingerprint” of each of these areas in an individual’s brain scans.
Discovered Through ‘Big Data’ Analysis
Researchers at the SBP have identified over 100 new genetic regions that affect the immune response to cancer.
Human Stem Cells to Rapidly Generate Bone, Heart Muscle
A new study shows that combining positive and negative signals can quickly and efficiently steer stem cells down complex developmental pathways to become specialized tissues that could be used in the clinic.
New Mechanism of Tuberculosis Infection
Researchers at UTSW Medical Center have identified a new way that tuberculosis bacteria get into the body, revealing a potential therapeutic angle to explore.
New Therapeutic Targets For Small Cell Lung Cancer Identified
Researchers at UTSW Medical Center have identified a protein termed ASCL1 that is essential to the development of small cell lung cancer and that, when deleted in the lungs of mice, prevents the cancer from forming.
Eliminating Doubt in Criminal Investigations
New ASU certificate to help curb error, misunderstanding in the quest for justice.
Determination of 13 Organic Toxicants in Human Blood
Researchers have utilised liquid-liquid extraction coupling HPLC-MS/MS to identify and quantify organic toxicants in human blood.
A Novel Cell Culture Model For Forensic Biology Experiments
Researchers have developed a new cell culture model which provides an efficient research tool in forensic biology.
Rhino DNA Bank Aids Anti-Poaching Fight
At the University of Pretoria's Veterinary Genetics Laboratory (VGL) at Onderstepoort, Dr Cindy Harper and her team have developed a ground-breaking technique to collect and catalogue DNA from rhinos and rhino horns.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
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
3,200+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,800+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!