NIAID Establishing New Genomic Centers for Infectious Diseases

Genomic SequencingThe National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has announced a new initiative to establish Genomic Centers for Infectious Diseases as a collaborative program that will utilize a combination of next generation sequencing and related genomic technologies, bioinformatics capabilities and computational analyses to understand infectious diseases, with a focus on the pathogen and its interaction with the host. 

The program will build upon and expand the sequence data, resources and technologies that have been generated through current NIAID-supported genomic research efforts such as the:

  • Genomic Sequencing Centers for Infectious Diseases providing rapid production of high-quality genome sequences of human pathogens and related organisms, invertebrate vectors of infectious diseases, human and microbial genotyping and metagenomics analysis (J. Craig Venter Institute, University of Maryland and the Broad Institute).
  • Clinical Proteomics Centers for Infectious Diseases and Biodefense — identify candidate pathogen and host biomarkers important for infectious diseases.
  • Systems Biology Centers for Infectious Diseases — identifying and analyze molecular interaction networks of microbial pathogens and their host cells through a combination of computational and experimental high-throughput technologies.
  • Structural Genomics Centers for Infectious Diseases — focusing on experimentally characterizing the three-dimensional atomic structure of proteins of pathogenic organisms (Seattle Structural Genomics Center for Infectious Disease, CSGID).

Two to three Genomic Centers for Infectious Diseases will be established to support a diverse set of genomic sequencing activities with a particular emphasis on high-throughput applications and on the pathogen and its interaction with the host. The program is expected to use and develop or improve innovative applications of sequencing such as RNA sequencing and metagenomics.

Each application should describe the central theme of the proposed Center and propose at least one research project for each of the four core themes: viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites and vectors. Each research project must utilize a combination of next generation, state-of-the-art genomics sequencing technologies and bioinformatics analyses to understand infectious diseases with a focus on human pathogens and their interaction with the host.  Applicants should explain how the proposed Research Projects are synergistic and fit under the Center’s overarching central theme.  

Further details are available under RFA-AI-13-009. Letters of Intent are due May 24, 2013. The earliest start date is April 2014.