EGRP News Flash - November 18, 2010

PAR Issued for Methods and Approaches for Detection of Gene-Environment Interactions

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently issued a new Program Announcement with Special Review (PAR) soliciting research proposals on methods and approaches for detection of gene-environment interactions in human disease. Applications are sought that use the Exploratory/Developmental Research grant mechanism (R21). The deadline for receipt of applications is February 3, 2011 (by 5 p.m. local time of applicant organization).

This PAR encourages research proposals to develop and test innovative statistical and bioinformatics methods and analytical strategies and study designs for identifying gene-environment interactions for complex human diseases. For the PAR, gene-environment interaction is defined as any joint effect of one or more genes with one or more environmental factors or exposures that cannot be easily explained by separate marginal effects.

The objectives are to further advance the understanding of gene-environment interplay in complex human disease by 1) the development and validation of algorithms and new statistical and computational approaches and study designs, and/or 2) the development and application of bioinformatics software for gene-environment analysis of existing human populations.

The long-term goal is to help identify individuals at highest risk for developing a specific disease or dysfunction based on both their exposure patterns and genetic risk profiles and inform potential environmental modifications or behavioral change interventions that could be implemented to prevent or reduce disease burden. For this PAR, environmental risk factors or exposures can refer to chemical toxicants, such as metals and solvents, and biological agents, such as toxins. Lifestyle factors such as diet, physical activity, and the use of addictive substances will also be considered. Family, social, and cultural influences that may modify the pathophysiologic responses to environmental exposures will be considered to the extent that they can be measured in biological assays.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI), a cosponsor of the PAR, encourages applications that address novel statistical methods, computational and analytical tools, and designs for studying interactions of genetic and environmental factors for studies of cancer etiology and prognosis. Applications may include statistical methods for large-scale gene-environment analysis of disease pathways for cancer risk assessment, early detection, prevention, and outcome. NCI is also interested in studies of the interaction of the environment with early cancer biomarkers.

The PAR's lead sponsor is the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), with several other Institutes in addition to NCI participating as cosponsors.

A letter of intent is not required, but the information that it contains will allow NIH staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan the review. Prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent by January 4, 2011, that includes the following information: 1) descriptive title of proposed research; 2) name, address, and telephone number of the Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PD(s)/(PI(s)); 3) names of other key personnel; 4) participating institutions; and 5) number and title of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). Refer to the FOA for specifics on where to send the letter.

Contact: Leah Mechanic, Ph.D., M.P.H., Program Director, Host Susceptibility Factors Branch, Epidemiology and Genetics Research Program, NCI.

  • Access the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts: PAR-11-032External Web Site Policy

Return to Top