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Utah Genome Project Seed Grants: Exploring the Genetics Behind Disease

Seed Growing

The Utah Genome Project (UGP) aims to investigate the genetic basis of human disease through genomic sequencing of Utah families to discover, understand, prevent and treat challenging medical conditions.

“The Utah Genome Project contains a wealth of information,” said Lynn Jorde, PhD, executive director of the Utah Genome Project Scientific Advisory Board at University of Utah Health. “These seed grants will provide the initial support needed for our research teams to mine this vast resource to understand the genetic underpinning of disease, the critical pathways in disease progression, and development of new therapies to help patients.”

The UGP initiated a seed grant program to fund projects that span an array of topics, from osteoarthritis to familial suicide risk. Each grant was awarded up to $50,000 for one year. The 2018 awardees are:

  • Rapid approaches for Leukodystrophy gene discovery and validation

        Joshua Bonkowsky, MD, PhD, Pediatric Neurology

  • Genetics of early-onset hip osteoarthritis

        Mick Jurynec, PhD, Orthopaedics

  • Examining understanding, attitudes, and communication about genomic data sharing policies to develop best practices

       Kimberly Kaphingst, PhD, Communications
       Jorge Contreras, JD, College of Law

  • Contribution of NRXN1 variants to familial suicide risk

       Hillary Coon, PhD, Psychiatry
       Megan Williams, PhD, Neurobiology and Anatomy

  • Utah project on Exfoliation Syndrome (UPEXS): The eyes have it

       Karen Curtin, PhD, MStat, Internal Medicine

  • Lineage: Integrating clinical and genetic data with genealogical records

       Hillary Coon, PhD, Psychiatry
       Alexander Lex, PhD, Computer Science

UGP promotes genomic discovery and discover novel disease-causing genes and pathways to improve diagnosis, testing, and treatment of human disease.