2013 Extracellular RNA Communication Project Awards
On Aug. 13, 2013, NIH announced that it was funding $17 million for 24 research projects designed to explore and enhance our understanding of a recently discovered cell-to-cell messaging process called extracellular RNA (exRNA) communication.
Of these 24 awards, NCATS is administering 18 projects in response to two NIH request for applications:
- RFA-RM-12-013: Clinical Utility of Extracellular RNA for Biomarker Development (UH2/UH3)
- RFA-RM-12-014: Clinical Utility of Extracellular RNA for Therapy Development (UH2/UH3)
Investigators on 10 of the projects are developing biomarkers from exRNA found in body fluids. Researchers could use these biomarkers to diagnose a variety of diseases and conditions and to predict the course of disease in patients. Specifically, they will explore biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease; multiple sclerosis; kidney disease; brain injury; pregnancy complications; heart disease, heart attack and stroke; and liver, stomach and brain cancers.
Researchers on another eight projects are exploring new ways to use exRNA in treatments. Investigators will design exRNA-based therapies for several types of cancer, Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis, bone marrow disorders and kidney disease.
Searching Saliva for Disease
UCLA extracellular RNA researchers have found that saliva offers as many clues to a person’s health as blood. And now, they are using this information to develop a noninvasive diagnostic test for stomach cancer. Read the full feature.