NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Institutes of Health today announced it has awarded about $42 million in new funds in connection with the Human Microbiome Project.
The new funding seeks to expand the scope of eight demonstration projects to link changes in the human microbiome to health and disease, and to support the development of new technologies for the identification and characterization of microbial communities in the human microbiome.
The list of award winners can be found here.
The $157 million, five-year Human Microbiome Project was launched in 2008 and a year later, 15 one-year disease demonstration projects were funded to study the microbiomes of healthy volunteers and those with specific diseases at body sites thought to have a microbiome association.
In a statement, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and co-chair of the Human Microbiome Project's Implementation Group, said the additional funding announced today is for those studies "that hold the most promise for improving our understanding of how human health and disease are influenced by the human microbiome."
Criteria used to evaluate which initial projects would be expanded included the potential of each study to achieve the goals of the disease demonstration project; clinical relevance; and scientific merit, NIH said.