Awards will expand projects into new diseases like RA and bipolar disorder and fortify resources.

NIH plans on spending $161.3 million over the next five years to expand the Pharmacogenomics Research Network (PGRN). The new awards include 14 scientific research projects and seven network resources.

The resources will offer deep DNA sequencing capacity, provide statistical analysis expertise, develop standardized terminology for pharmacogenomics research, pilot ways to learn about pharmacogenomics from de-identified medical records in healthcare systems, and expand a two-year-old international collaboration with the Center for Genomic Medicine at the RIKEN Institute in Yokohama, Japan.

Spearheaded by the NIH’s National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) and launched in 2000, the PGRN has linked gene variants to responses to medicines for different cancers, heart disease, asthma, nicotine addiction, and other conditions. The expanded network will continue research in these areas and move into new ones including rheumatoid arthritis and bipolar disorder. Network scientists will also develop novel research methods and study the use of pharmacogenetics in rural and underserved populations.

“Thanks to breakthroughs in genome-sequencing technologies and our growing understanding of genetic variation among individuals, there has never been a better time to propel the field of pharmacogenomics,” comments NIH director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. “Through these studies we are moving closer to the goal of using genetic information to help prescribe the safest, most effective medicine for each patient.”

The lead investigators of the PGRN research groups receiving grants and anticipated five-year total costs are listed below:
• Kathleen M. Giacomini, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco, $11.9 million, Pharmacogenomics of Membrane Transporters (the Global Alliance for Pharmacogenomics resource listed below is also associated with this award)
• Julie A. Johnson, Pharm.D., University of Florida, $9.8 million, Pharmacogenomic Evaluation of Antihypertensive Responses
• John R. Kelsoe, M.D., University of California, San Diego, $6.4 million, Pharmacogenomics of Mood Stabilizer Response in Bipolar Disorder
• Ronald M. Krauss, M.D., Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute, $9.4 million, Pharmacogenomics and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease (the Human Exome Resequencing resource listed below is also associated with this award)
• Caryn Lerman, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, and Rachel F. Tyndale, Ph.D., University of Toronto, $12 million, Pharmacogenetics of Nicotine Addiction Treatment
• Robert M. Plenge, M.D., Ph.D., Brigham and Women’s Hospital, $7.5 million, Genetic Predictors of Response to Anti-TNF Therapy in Rheumatoid Arthritis
• Mark J. Ratain, M.D., Nancy J. Cox, Ph.D., and M. Eileen Dolan, Ph.D., University of Chicago, $10.3 million, PAAR—Pharmacogenomics of Anticancer Agents Research Group
• Mary V. Relling, Pharm.D., St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, $8.6 million, PAAR4Kids—Pharmacogenomics of Anticancer Agents Research in Children
• Dan M. Roden, M.D., Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, $12.4 million, Pharmacogenomics of Arrhythmia Therapy (two resources listed below—PGRN Statistical Analysis Resource and Pharmacogenomic Discovery and Replication in Very Large Populations—are also associated with this award)
• Wolfgang Sadee, M.Pharm, Ohio State University, $9.1 million, Expression Genetics in Drug Therapy
• Alan R. Shuldiner, M.D., University of Maryland, $11.4 million, Pharmacogenomics of Anti-Platelet Intervention-2 (PAPI-2) Study
• Kenneth E. Thummel, Ph.D., and Wylie G. Burke, M.D., University of Washington, Seattle, $10.2 million, Pharmacogenetics in Rural and Underserved Populations
• Richard M. Weinshilboum, M.D., Mayo Clinic, $11.2 million, Pharmacogenetics of Phase II Drug Metabolizing Enzymes (two resources listed below—Next Generation DNA Sequencing and Pharmacogenomic Ontology Network Resource—are also associated with this award)
• Scott T. Weiss, M.D., and Kelan G. Tantisira, M.D., Brigham and Women’s Hospital, $9.8 million, Pharmacogenetics of Asthma Treatment

The network resources and anticipated five-year total costs for each grant are listed below:
• Kathleen M. Giacomini, Ph.D., University of California, San Francisco, $3.2 million, Global Alliance for Pharmacogenomics 
• Richard Gibbs, Ph.D., Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, $2.3 million, Next Generation DNA Sequencing
• Elaine Mardis, Ph.D., Washington University, St. Louis, $3.0 million, Next Generation Sequencing
• Deborah A. Nickerson, Ph.D., University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, $3.9 million, Human Exome Resequencing
• Marylyn Ritchie, M.D., Vanderbilt University, PGRN Statistical Analysis Resource, $2.4 million
• Dan M. Roden, M.D., Vanderbilt University Medical Center, $3.4 million, Pharmacogenomic Discovery and Replication in Very Large Populations
• Christopher Chute, M.D., Mayo Clinic, $3.1 million, Pharmacogenomic Ontology Network Resource

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