NIH Expands Network Focused On How Genes Affect Drug Responses

The National Institutes of Health plans to spend $161.3 million over the next five years to expand the Pharmacogenomics Research Network (PGRN), a nationwide collaborative of scientists focused on understanding how genes affect a person’s response to medicines.

“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,” said 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.”

Emerging Science, Tech Advances Highlight New NIH Common Fund Programs

Programs to create a new center for the study of stem cells and to increase capacity to deal with global health issues were among seven scientific initiatives announced today by NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. The seven research programs are supported through the NIH Common Fund, which encourages collaborative research programs across the NIH institutes and centers, or ICs, to accomplish work that no single IC could do alone. The programs are all scheduled to begin during fiscal year 2010.

“These strategic investments will yield critical new resources, scientific knowledge, and strategic partnerships across a broad landscape of basic biology, behavioral science, global health, and clinical medicine,” said Dr. Collins.

The research programs will distribute $17.8 million in NIH Common Fund ( support in fiscal year 2010, and additional funds in future years. These projects capitalize on emerging scientific opportunities and technology advances to fuel biomedical discovery, strengthen the biomedical community nationally and globally, and hasten the translation of science discoveries into new and better treatments.