Release Date:  November 27, 1998


National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute


The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) announces its intentions
to establish Centers for Genomic Applications (CGA) to Heart, Lung, and Blood
Research.  The purpose of this announcement is (1) to provide potential
applicants time to discuss ideas and to begin to form links for developing
applications and (2) to request comments from the scientific community regarding
scientific areas, structure, and organization of these Centers that would serve
the needs of heart, lung, and blood researchers.


Recognizing that expertise and technologies in selected critical areas are not
necessarily located at a single institution or even within a particular region,
the NHLBI is seeking to establish research centers, whose components may be
located at different geographical sites, contributing to the NHLBI Functional
Genomics Program.  A working definition of the term "functional genomics" would
be the interpretation of genomic sequence or gene expression on a genomic scale
to elucidate function (biological insights).  The principal goal of a Center
would be to extract or generate biologically useful information on a genomic
scale that is of relevance to heart, lung, and blood researchers.  A CGA would
use and/or generate genomic information and/or high through-put technologies to
conduct innovative research, provide a genomic interface that will contribute to
the heart, lung, and blood research communities (i.e., technologies or databases
that are made accessible and utilized by heart, lung and blood biologists), train
new investigators in this emerging discipline, and contribute biological
information of use to, and extending beyond the realm of, heart, lung, and blood

Each CGA will involve a highly interactive group of investigators constituting
a critical mass and blend of diverse expertise and talent (e.g., automation
processing technology, genomics, physiology, pathology, bioinformatics,
pharmacology, biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology, engineering, clinical
medicine) and provide a platform to import enabling high through-put
technologies, sustain them, apply them to critical questions, and/or develop and
import new technologies to replace outdated ones.  In addition, a hallmark
feature of these Centers will be their ability to respond rapidly and flexibly
to scientific advances in a diverse array of disciplines.

Examples of a few of the possible themes for Centers include:

(A) Centers for genome wide expression analysis of conditions/tissues relevant
to heart, lung, and blood research.

(B) Centers for high through-put resequencing of genes from patient populations
relevant to heart, lung, and blood researchers.

(C) Model organism (zebrafish, worm, mouse, rat, etc.) mutagenesis centers
focused on the generation of new reagents relevant to heart, lung, and blood

Additionally, the Center would serve as a location for NHLBI investigators to
carry out targeted experiments as well as serve as a training Center.  The
Centers would have the capacity to develop and apply informatic analysis to the
data generated and make this information available to the public as well as
provide computational know-how so that the heart, lung, and blood user
communities could generate and analyze their own data linked to the Center.

Although the components of a given CGA need not share a common location, each
CGA should possess the following attributes:

Research Focus -- a common research theme or focus.

Core Resources --  core resources that are essential for the accomplishment of
its research objectives.

Bioinformatics -- expertise related to the effective capture, integration, use,
and dissemination of information resources expected to be developed by the

Commitment to Share -- cooperate with and/or to make available to other
investigators resources, technologies and data bases developed by the CGA. (A
model for this aspect of the center, somewhat distinct from a traditional NIH
research center, would be the access that the community has had to mapping and
sequence data coming from the Human Genome Program.)

Training -- opportunities for training in the development and use of resources
created by the center to both newly trained scientists and to established
investigators interested in gaining new skills.

Technology  -- develop, import, and utilize critical, modern technologies.

Duration -- maintain the relationship among projects, core resources, and sharing
with the broader scientific community for a planned extended award period of 7


Investigators who may wish to establish a Center for Genomic Applications to
Heart, Lung, and Blood Research are strongly encouraged to begin discussions with
colleagues, forge links with collaborators (non-profit and for-profit), and begin
to develop a theme and a strategy for preparing an application. 


The NHLBI requests that members of the scientific community provide comments
regarding areas of investigation, structure, and organization of these Centers
that would serve the needs of heart, lung, and blood researchers.  Of particular
interest are research themes, enabling technologies to be used, and information
and materials that would be made available to investigators outside the Centers. 
Submitted information will help to define the scope of a Request for Applications
(RFA) that will be issued in early 1999.  As these Centers will require
collaboration of investigators from many disciplines, some of which are not
traditionally involved in heart, lung, and blood research, responses are welcome
from a broad range of areas of expertise.

This notice is for information and planning purposes only and shall not be
construed as a solicitation or as an obligation on the part of the Government to
issue a Request for Applications or award a grant.  Do not include proprietary
information.  The Government does not intend to award a grant on the basis of
responses nor otherwise pay for the preparation of any information submitted or
the Government's use of such information.  Acknowledgment of receipt of responses
will not be made, nor will respondents be notified of the Government's evaluation
of the information received.  However, should such a requirement materialize, no
basis for claims against the Government shall arise as a result of a response to
this notice or the Government's use of such information as either part of our
evaluation process or in developing specifications for any subsequent

Text should be limited to no more than three pages.  Responses should be clearly
identified with "Centers for Genomic Applications to Heart, Lung, and Blood
Diseases," provide contact information for the author(s), and are due no later
than December 30, 1998.

Submit one copy of your response to:

Ms. Chris Davis
Division of Heart and Vascular Diseases
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 9170, MSC 7940
Bethesda, MD  20892-7940
Bethesda, MD  20817 (for express/courier service
Telephone:  (301) 435-0477
FAX:  (301) 480-1336

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