UW to get $30M to study genome data in health care
The University of Washington will receive $30 million over four years to fund two programs: one to study single-gene inherited disorders such as cystic fibrosis and sickle-cell anemia, and the other to explore how health-care professionals might use genome-sequencing information to care for patients.
Seattle Times health reporter
Cystic fibrosis, sickle-cell anemia and muscular dystrophy are among some 6,000 inherited disorders caused mainly by the mutation of a single gene.
And though each defect affects a relatively small number of people, together they may provide the clues that will unlock treatments for more common diseases such as cancer or heart disease.
That's the theory behind a four-year, $416 million effort announced Tuesday by the National Human Genome Research Institute to help accelerate the use of genetic information in medical care. The grants will fund two programs at the University of Washington and others at selected universities around the country.
The grants won't focus only on hard research but will also explore the personal, social, ethical, legal and economic issues involved in incorporating personal genetic information into medical care.
The UW will receive about $30 million to fund two programs over four years:
• The Center for Mendelian Genomics, headed by Dr. Deborah Nickerson, a professor of genome sciences, will receive $5.2 million per year for four years to study these so-called Mendelian disorders, single-gene defects inherited in a pattern first identified by a 19th-century monk, Gregor Mendel.
The Division of Medical Genetics, headed by Dr. Gail Jarvik, will receive $2.3 million per year for four years. Working with patients with colon cancer or a family history of the disease, for example, a team plans to assess the social, ethical and personal implications of genetic information, as well as costs.
"This project is at the forefront of genomic medicine," Jarvik said.
Carol M. Ostrom: 206-464-2249 or email@example.com. On Twitter @costrom.
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