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GEN News Highlights : Nov 15, 2007

NIH to Put Down $6.8M for Project Focused on Standardizing Measures for Genetic Studies

RTI and investigators from 20 different scientific fields will initially focus on common complex diseases.

To maximize the benefits of research exploring the relationships between genetics, environment, health, and disease, RTI International scientists will work with experts to develop a set of standard measures for use in genetics research. The research is funded by a three-year cooperative agreement with the NIH’s National Human Genome Research Institute worth up to $6.8 million.

The project, PhenX, will develop consensus measures for phenotypes and exposures. RTI researchers will work with scientists and health experts from 20 different research specialties. The initial focus of the study will be to develop measures for common complex diseases such as cardiovascular, neurologic, endocrinologic and renal conditions.

“Iin recent years there have been many good, small studies looking at the relationship between genetics and various health conditions and diseases,” points out Carol M. Hamilton, Ph.D., director of Bioinformatics at RTI and the project’s principal investigator. “Unfortunately, the lack of standard measures in these studies often does not allow researchers to combine or compare their findings.”