3 July 2007
As part of its Roadmap strategy to tackle major opportunities and gaps in biomedical research, the US National Institutes of Health has published its latest list of priority research areas that cut across all 27 of its constituent institutes and centres. There is a clear focus on genomics, with major roadmap initiatives (consisting of multiple, coordinated projects) over the next 5 years in epigenetics, tools for proteomics, studies on the microbiome (the microbial content of the human body), and services and tools for phenotyping. Calls for applications for funding under these initiatives are expected to go out in autumn of this year, with awards made during summer 2008.
A smaller ‘roadmap pilot study’ will be funded on the ‘genetic connectivity map’, which will aim to “discover and demonstrate the linkage between diseases, drug candidates and genetic manipulation”.
In addition, Roadmap Coordination Groups will assess the current status of research in three other broad areas – regenerative medicine, pharmacogenetics and bioinformatics – and will make recommendations about future support for projects or collaborations to bring together researchers working on different organ systems or diseases.