New IPM pilot projects announced in support of whole genome sequencing

150 150 pendari1060
  • 0

The Institute for Precision Medicine (IPM)

Announce Pilot Project Funding in

Support of Next Generation Sequencing at the UPMC Genome Center (UGC)

The Institute for Precision Medicine (IPM; is a collaboration between the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC. The IPM facilitates the movement of precision medicine research into personalized clinical care. The over-arching goal is to help researchers and clinicians discover and exploit clinically actionable individual features about risk of disease, disease course, optimal treatment, and response to treatment.


The UPMC Genome Center (UGC) is a high-throughput, CLIA-certified/CAP-accredited, industrial-scale sequencing center ( The UGC mission is to support the pursuit of understanding DNA and RNA sequence variation in relation to phenotypic variability in human disease.

The goal of this pilot project program is to support the generation of pilot data for competitive precision medicine grant submissions, while introducing investigators to the new UPMC genome center resources.


The program will support the UGC sequencing costs for research proposals of 8-16 samples for whole genome sequencing. Samples can be submitted in form of blood, saliva, purified DNA. For smaller proposals, lower sample numbers may be supported and will be batched with other investigators. The UGC will return FastQ, BAM, VCF files for SNVs and INDELS as well as a Technical QC report outlining QC parameters about run and per-sample parameters.

Deadline for submission of proposals: January 11th, 2019.

Decisions will be made in February 2019, and sequencing must be conducted within 12 months of the grant award. Recipients are required to submit a progress report upon completion of the sequencing pilot.


Budget information

The monies to support sequencing costs will transfer directly from IPM to UGC to cover agreed upon sequencing cost, approved by the IPM based on a quote from the UGC for the proposed study. No funding will be provided directly to the investigator for other project expenses or salary support. For proposals requesting oncology sample collection or disbursement the Hillman Cancer Center may co-sponsor selected proposals. No sequencing budget is required at the time of grant submission. If a high number of outstanding applications are received, the IPM may select to fund reduced cohort sizes (ie, if 16 samples are requested, the application may be funded in full, or reduced to a smaller cohort of 8 samples). If an award is to be made, no sequencing can be performed until any necessary regulatory protocols (IRB, rDNA, CORID, hSCRO) are approved.



University of Pittsburgh faculty members at the levels of assistant/research assistant professor, associate/research associate professor, and professor/research professor are eligible to apply. See below for relevant instructions.


General Instructions, Format, and Guidelines

The proposal should be no more than 2 pages in length. Proposal should provide the background, rationale for study and expected outcomes. Biosketches of the PI and other key investigators must be submitted with the research proposal.  If IRB or CORID protocol approvals are required to conduct the research, the relevant approvals must be obtained before funds will be released to support the project. Budgets are not required for UGC costs and quotes will be developed by UGC after funding selection.


Review Criteria

The primary review criteria are:

  • The scientific premise, feasibility and merit of the project
  • The potential to lead to more comprehensive studies and future funding
  • The degree to which the project enables future large cohort sequencing studies and is likely to attract external funding
  • Appropriate experience of PI/team, with some demonstration of ongoing record of accomplishments

Applications will undergo review by investigators from the IPM, and by Hillman Cancer Center investigators for oncology projects, as appropriate. Following review, projects will be chosen based upon score and programmatic relevance.

Applications are to be submitted electronically, as pdf files, to Jennifer Xavier, by 5:00 pm on January 11th, 2019. No exceptions will be made to the receipt date. Within one week of the receipt date, each applicant should receive an e-mail message notifying him/her that his/her application has been received. If an applicant does not receive such notification, he/she should contact Jennifer Xavier. Logistical, administrative and scientific questions about the program should be directed to Jennifer Xavier (