The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) “All of Us” Research Program has issued a funding announcement for genome centers to generate genotype and whole genome sequence data from participants’ biosamples.
Information produced from the genome centers “will become a critical component in the program’s precision medicine research platform, a national resource for investigators working on a variety of important health questions,” according to NIH officials, who noted that the funding announcement is an important step in the program’s larger research effort.
The All of Us Research Program, established by the White House in 2015, aims to advance precision medicine by studying the health data of 1 million diverse Americans over the next five years. The program hit a major milestone when the enrollment beta phase ended and the program’s open national enrollment launched on May 6.
Additionally, the All of Us Research Program is planning a pilot study in coming months on the responsible return of genetic information to participants, which will include education and genetic counseling, as part of the program’s commitment to make all participant data available to participants themselves.
According to officials, the program anticipates funding up to two genome center awards in FY2018, with analyses to begin this fall. Applicants may request funds to generate and analyze genotype data from 100,000 participants in the first year while beginning to also employ whole genome sequencing methods. In remaining years of the anticipated five-year project period, applicants may request funds for whole genome sequencing for as many as 200,000 participants annually.
Applications will specifically be evaluated on teams’ technical approach, plans to scale up operations, capabilities to operate a clinical validation laboratory (to verify medically-relevant variants in certain genes), experience, past performance, and cost proposal, and on other considerations related to programmatic priority.
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