In the News

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) today, August 8, 2017, announced funding awards that will accelerate the use of clinical genomics for diverse populations and for groups who have been medically underserved. UW Medicine in Seattle is among the centers receiving funding.

The $18.9 million total in federal grants for the multi-site, national effort, planned to run for four years, will support research on genome sequencing in patient care. Genome sequencing helps figure out the “letters” in a person’s DNA code and is increasing used to understand disease and disease-risk.

Medical scientists are interested in the potential of DNA sequencing for improving the diagnosis and treatment of rare single-gene disorders, as well as for tailoring the care of common, complex conditions like cancer, heart disease, autism and dementia.  

An emphasis of the newly funded effort will be on ensuring that innovative approaches and best practices in clinical genomics can be applied to individuals and groups from a variety of backgrounds. The project also will look to extend genomic medicine in healthcare settings beyond research universities and teaching hospitals.  

UW Medicine medical genetics division head Dr. Gail Jarvik, professor of medicine and of genome sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine, will lead the coordinating center for the national project.

“This program has a large focus on making sure the advances in genomic medicine reach diverse patient groups, not just those with access to academic medical centers,” Jarvik noted.  “The data generated from this program will inform the standard of care for genomic medicine for all patients.”

The coordinating center at UW Medicine will provide the organization and logistical support to stimulate synergies across the different program locations in the United States. The coordinating center will receive a four-year NIH federal award of $3,940,846 in total costs.

The research is being funded as part of the Clinical Sequencing Evidence-Generating Research (CSER2) Consortium. CSER2 builds upon the Clinical Sequencing Exploratory Research (CSER) Consortium, initiated in 2010 and funded by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), both part of NIH. 

Other recipients of the new CSER2 awards are:

  • Jonathan Berg, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • Gregory Cooper, HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, Huntsville, Alabama
  • Katrina Goddard, Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, Portland, Oregon
  • Eimear Kenny, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York
  • Pui-Yan Kwok, University of California, San Francisco
  • Sharon Plon, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston