Earlier this year the NCI coordinated, NIH Common Fund initiative named the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) Project was granted expanded funding. The scale-up of the project was approved by the Common Fund Committee, and approximately $19M from this approval will be transferred to the NCI OD to initiate the larger project. The pilot study, which is nearing completion, run by the NCI Office of Biorepositories &Biospecimen Research (OBBR) will serve as the tissue procurement coordinating center for the GTEx scale-up. The GTEx scale-up will involve collection of tissues from hundreds of autopsy patients, and organ procurement and surgical donors. The OBBR will coordinate all tissue collection and processing activities and the Common Fund budget funds will be used to support those activities. The OBBR will run the GTEx Project scale up primarily through the use of contracts and subcontracts at the SAIC in NCI Frederick. In previous years, the NCI was the authority to utilize a NIH Common Fund CAN in order to fund the SAIC contract to support the GTEx pilot directly. During fiscal year 2011, however, the NCI OD received a mandate that stated we could only fund the SAIC contract through specific CANs designated for that purpose, which were labeled non severable or severable as well as R&D or RMS respectively. Since the NIH Common Fund CAN that these funds originated in is not labeled in the manner that was mandated by NCI Records and Contracts Branch, we had to set up a correctly labeled reimbursable CAN for the purpose of receiving this funding and sending to NCI Frederick. GTEx represents an opportunity to efficiently and comprehensively study genetic variation and gene expression across many tissues, to aid in the interpretation of genome-wide hits, to help prioritize therapeutic targets, and to further our understanding of genome regulation. GTEx is not focused on diseased individuals or tissues, and is therefore relevant across almost all NIH institutes. It draws on expertise across numerous ICs such as NCI?s OBBR, NHGRI?s genomics expertise, and NIMH and other neuroscience institutes? experience in brain banking and statistical methods. GTEx?s focus on primary tissues unselected for disease status will complement well several other initiatives such as ENCODE, which analyzes mostly cell lines, and the LINCS project, that will generate cell line gene expression patterns in response to a wide range of cellular perturbations. This project is extremely important to the NCI OD and has a wide impact throughout the NIH

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
NIH Intra-Agency Agreements (Y02)
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