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Freedom of Information Act Office

IC Directors' Meeting Highlights

July 17, 2009

To: IC Directors
From: Penny Burgoon
Subject: IC Directors Meeting Highlights—May 28, 2010

Discussion Items

NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tool (RePORT)

Dr. Sally Rockey updated the IC Directors on the upcoming roll-out of RePORTER, which will replace the CRISP database reporting tool in Fall of 2009. Compared to CRISP, RePORT has enhanced capabilities with access to basic information on NIH programs, reports and data, the NIH Biennial Report, the Research Condition and Disease Categorization system, and RePORTER. RePORTER will contain search capabilities associated with the CRISP database tool and will also have enhanced search capabilities that include publications and patents, intramural and extramural projects, and links to other databases such as PubMed.

Dr. Jim Onken provided a live demonstration of RePORTER. Future plans for this tool’s expansion include integration with other databases and enhanced analysis, charting and mapping of search results.

The Future of DNA Sequencing

Dr. Alan Guttmacher introduced Drs. Eric Lander (Broad Institute), Richard Wilson (Washington University, St. Louis), and Richard Gibbs (Baylor College of Medicine), who are the Primary Investigators for the three NHGRI-supported large-scale sequencing centers. They discussed the scientific advances and technology improvements that have resulted in dramatic increases in data generation, decreases in cost, and a broader range of applications. The resulting rapid growth of sequencing output for both genomic analysis and analysis of other cellular phenomena at the molecular level has facilitated a multitude of discoveries such as candidate genes, mutations, and new pathogens.

These advances have led to use of sequencing as a tool for an array of scientific opportunities in genome biology, medical genetics, cancer genomics, microbial genomics, and evolutionary genetics. In cancer genomics, tumor sequencing projects have revealed more commonalities of affected cellular pathways in tumors than was previously recognized. Massive parallel sequencing is also being applied to follow up GWA studies and has enabled discovery of a growing list of candidate genes in common diseases while also allowing researchers to focus on the role of rare mutations in both common and rare diseases.

Despite these rapid advances in sequencing technology and discovery, we must be careful about what can be promised. Sequencing costs are still relatively high, and there is much more to earn about how to use the new technologies before they can fulfill their tremendous promise for use in filling the knowledge and data gaps needed to understand functional impact. For example, while the NIH Human Microbiome Project has made significant progress in taking a comprehensive approach to cataloging the microbes in humans, examining the microbiome in disease, and generating a community resource for metagenomics, creating a robust and complete database will require many additional tasks, such as correcting and standardizing all 16S RNA gene sequences in standard strains.

This page last reviewed on May 29, 2012

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