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Expression Analysis Announces RNA-SEQ Grant Program

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EA has announced that it is working with Golden Helix and Illumina to offer three fully-funded grants for RNA-Seq studies and data analysis to support cutting-edge projects that show promise in identifying genetic elements important to enhance the understanding of disease and improve human health.

For the studies selected, Expression Analysis will perform the sequencing and provide primary and secondary data analysis; Golden Helix will provide cloud-based secondary analysis tools and storage, plus end-user tertiary analysis tools; and, Illumina will provide the products required for the study. In all cases, there is no cost to the grant recipients.

RNA-Seq is a cDNA sequencing application that generates a more comprehensive, quantitative and less biased view of the transcriptome when compared to microarray-based technologies.

“RNA sequencing has clear advantages over existing approaches - delivering detection of novel biology not possible using microarrays. The goal of these grants is to introduce researchers to the many benefits of RNA-Seq and to incorporate this method into their research so they can experience its biological advantages first hand,” stated Steve McPhail, CEO of EA.

The informatics challenges associated with NGS-based research are well known, posing a significant barrier to the broad adoption of RNA-seq.

Overcoming these challenges has been a particularly difficult step on the path to realizing the full value of this promising technology.

“Many researchers turn away from RNA-Seq studies simply because the informatics are unmanageable,” said Andy Ferrin, EVP of Business Development and Services at Golden Helix.

Ferrin continued, “We’re excited to work with EA and Illumina on these grants to help three research groups capitalize on the power of RNA-seq technology without this daunting concern.”

Projects should demonstrate strong evidence that the study design and analysis proposed are likely to have the power to detect genetic factors affecting the trait under study.

There will be one grant awarded in each of the following categories:

- Biomarker discovery using whole transcriptome sequencing
- Developmental coding and non-coding RNA expression
- RNA-Seq analysis of FFPE samples

Applications for the grant are due by April 13, 2012 and the awardees will be notified no later than May 15, 2012.

For more information about the program, including application requirements and materials, visit www.ExpressionAnalysis.com/Grant.