HudsonAlpha Wins $7 Million in NIH Funding for Project to Expand National Health Data

Shawn Levy, chief scientific officer, genomics at Discovery Life Sciences; faculty investigator at HudsonAlpha. Photo courtesy of HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology

HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville has won $7 million in National Institutes of Health research funding to participate in the new national All of Us Research Program.

“The All of Us Research Program is a historic effort to gather data from one million or more people living in the United States to accelerate research and improve health,” the NIH reports. “By taking into account individual differences in lifestyle, environment, and biology, researchers will uncover paths toward delivering precision medicine.”

All of Us will provide one of the world’s most robust platforms for precision medicine research, with a broad range of data to drive new discoveries,” says Eric Dishman, director of the project.

The grant funding will allow researchers at HudsonAlpha “to use long-read whole genome sequencing technologies to generate genetic data on about 6,000 samples from participants of different backgrounds.”

The DNA sequencing technologies being evaluated at HudsonAlpha “could someday improve diagnosis and treatment of many diseases, both common and rare,” NIH says. “The project will allow researchers to better determine the value of long-read sequencing and its strengths and limitations in exploring the more elusive parts of the genome.”

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“Because long-read sequencing can reveal genetic changes associated with rare diseases, this project is an opportunity to assess and potentially refine the technology for advancing research across the many diseases for which there is no treatment,” says Christopher P. Austin, M.D., director of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, which is funding the program.

“We look forward to collaborating the other All of Us genome centers and the rest of the consortium on this exciting effort,” says Shawn Levy, Ph.D., who is chief scientific officer, genomics at HudsonAlpha’s Discover Life Sciences.

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