National Institutes of Health Common Fund Announces Two New Programs
Jul 23, 2012
Two new programs, to begin in fiscal year 2013, have been announced by National Institutes of Health Director Francis S. Collins. The new programs will explore novel approaches to cell-to-cell communication and understanding undiagnosed diseases, which represent challenges or scientific opportunities for a wide array of health research, and the latest priorities for the National Institutes of Health Common Fund.
According to the announcement: “The Undiagnosed Diseases Program (UDP) will provide a new network of medical research centers focused on the discovery, diagnosis, and ultimately care of undiagnosed patients by capitalizing on recent advances in genomics and the infusion of basic researchers in clinical projects.”
The second program announced, “the Common Fund's Extracellular RNA Communication program will explore new ways in which cells communicate with each other using extracellular ribonucleic acids (RNAs) — RNAs that are present in the space outside of and between cells. The program will provide foundational information about the synthesis, distribution, uptake, and function of extracellular RNAs that are involved in cell-to-cell communication that is critical for basic cell function and health.”
The NIH Common Fund was created by Congress in 2006 in an effort to encourage trans-institutional collaboration. The Fund supports NIH programs that have the “potential for rapid and significant impact” and that involve at least two NIH Institutes or Centers.