(Healthcare IT News) – The National Institutes of Health is awarding $18.9 million to hasten the use of genome sequencing in clinical care.
The initiative, which will fund six research sites, is meant to generate innovative approaches and best practices in healthcare. It is focused on diverse and underserved populations, and in settings beyond academic medical centers.
The grants will fund the development of methods needed to integrate genome sequencing into the practice of medicine, improve the discovery and interpretation of genomic variants, and explore how genome sequencing affects healthcare outcomes.
Researchers are charged with gauging the usefulness of genome sequencing in clinical care, with a particular focus on diverse and underserved individuals. The goal is to create a base for clinical decision making.
“Engaging patient populations that are traditionally underrepresented in genomics research, coupled with the inclusion of broader types of healthcare settings, will enrich the data that result,” Regina Smith James, MD, said in a statement. James is director of clinical and health services research at the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.
The funding, which will be disbursed over four years, will be shared among six clinical sites and a coordinating center.
Participating sites are University of North Carolina, HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, Huntsville, Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, University of California and Baylor College of Medicine.
Each project will address topics such as the effectiveness of treatment decisions; patient and familial response to genomic testing; patient-provider-laboratory interactions that influence the use of genome sequencing; and integrating genomic, clinical and healthcare data.