NIH Awards $25 Million to Study Newborn Genome Sequencing in Healthcare

NIH has funded four pilot projects to study how genome and exome sequencing can help improve newborn health care. The $25 million fund from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) will support four research groups in US for 5 years.

The awarded projects will explore new approaches to use genomic information for newborn care,  how the use of genomic sequencing can help fast genetic diagnosis at neo-natal intensive care unit,  the use of  exome sequencing to detect disorders that can be screened now using current approaches and the new disorders that are currently not screened, and the challenges in implementing genomic sequencing technology to a diverse newborn population. The institutes/groups that the get funding for newborn genome sequencing are

  • Robert Green, M.D., and Alan Beggs, Ph.D.Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston
  • Stephen Kingsmore, M.D. Children’s Mercy Hospital – Kansas City, Mo.
  • Robert Nussbaum, M.D. University of California, San Francisco
  • Cynthia Powell, M.D., M.S., and Jonathan Berg, M.D., Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Announcing the awards Eric D. Green, M.D., Ph.D., director of NHGRI said,

We are at a point now where powerful new genome sequencing technologies are making it faster and more affordable than ever to access genomic information about patients. This initiative will help us better understand how we can appropriately use this information to improve health and prevent disease in infants and children.

Read more about the use of genome sequencing projects in newborn health care

  1. NIH Press release:  NIH program explores the use of genomic sequencing in newborn healthcare
  2. Nature News Blog: Scientists to sequence genomes of hundreds of newborns
  3. Science News: NIH Studies Explore Promise of Sequencing Babies’ Genomes

Just recently, NIH also awarded four projects to explore the use of genome sequencing in patient care (which include children and adults).

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