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September 25, 2007 - NIDCR Launches GWAS Studies

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced earlier this month the first projects to be funded as part of the Genes, Environment, and Health Initiative (GEI), a unique collaboration between geneticists and environmental scientists.

The initiative builds on the exciting progress in conducting genome-wide association studies, also known by the acronym GWAS.  "Genome-wide association studies have proven themselves to be powerful tools for discovering the genetic contributions to common diseases," said NIH director Elias A. Zehouni, M.D.  "Early findings from such studies have identified new genetic variants associated with a higher risk of common diseases such as prostate cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, but researchers have only scratched the surface. The genetic studies being funded will identify many novel genetic variants associated with an increased risk for these health conditions."

As part of the GEI initiative, NIDCR contributed additional funds to support two studies that should have important implications for oral and craniofacial research.  They are:

  • International consortium to Identify Genes and Interactions Controlling Oral Clefts.  The consortium is led by Terri Beaty, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore
  • Whole Genome Association and Gene x Environment Studies.  This work is led by Mary Marazita, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh

NIDCR director Lawrence Tabak, D.D.S, Ph.D, recently spoke about genome-wide association studies and the NIDCR's interest in supporting these two studies.  Read the transcript of his remarks

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This page last updated: February 26, 2014