COLLEGE STATION – Intending to empower the next generation of cutting-edge genomics research, members of The Texas A&M University System have contributed monies to create the largest internally funded genomics research grant program of its kind, officials said.
The funds, totaling $1.26 million, come from Texas A&M University and its College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Dwight Look College of Engineering, Division of Research, Whole Systems Genomics Initiative and Texas A&M Health Science Center, along with the A&M System’s Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station.
“This is truly an exciting period at Texas A&M. We are bringing together world-class scientists from across the system to explore the very foundations of life and solve some of the greatest challenges facing mankind, from human health to world hunger. This program serves a unique role for our scientists, providing those all-important funds to grow our genomics and bioinformatics research programs” said A&M System chancellor John Sharp. “Joint efforts such as this pave the way for basic and applied research discoveries that will benefit all of humankind.”
Grants from the fund will target the generation of preliminary data, building collaborative teams and/or training programs in genomics and bioinformatics, according to Dr. Charles D. Johnson, director of Genomics and Bioinformatics Services for AgriLife Research, and associate director of the A&M System’s Center for Bioinformatics and Genomic Systems Engineering.
“The program goals are to provide faculty with preliminary results for future grants submissions that will allow them to begin using or expanding their work in human, plant and animal genomics and the associated societal challenges,” Johnson noted.
The program will include a suite of four subcategories of grants. Each category focuses on a specific funding need. The details and request for proposals for the individual grant programs and eligibility requirements will be announced in the coming weeks.
• Texas A&M Genomics Seed Grant: Funding for next generation sequencing and bioinformatics support through the AgriLife Genomics and Bioinformatics Service.
• Genomics Technology Seed Grant – Funding computational and systems biology research, and genomics and computer technology development through the Engineering Experiment Station and Look College.
• Whole Systems Genomics Initiative Catalyst Grant: Supporting genomic research spanning discovery science to the ethical, social, legal and policy challenges that arise as new genomic discoveries profoundly impact animals, people and the environment on a global scale.
• Genomics of Plant Water Use: Funding for next generation sequencing and bioinformatics support through the AgriLife Genomics and Bioinformatics Services.
Questions about the overall program should be directed to Johnson at 979-862-3287, Charlie@ag.tamu.edu.