CEEHRC Epigenomics Platform Funding Opportunity: Eligible cells and tissues

As the CEEHRC Epigenomic Mapping Centres (EMCs) sequencing activities will form the major component of Canada's contribution to IHEC, final selection of cells and tissues will need to be coordinated with other IHEC member countries. All mapping activities must also be consistent with IHEC's objectives, guidelines and policies, including data analysis and distribution.

The specific selection of cells/tissues should take into consideration the ultimate relevance to human health and disease, the availability of sufficient high quality material, and the clear and precise cellular identification and/or pathological classification available for the selected cells/tissue. Given the ultimate goal of better understanding clinically-relevant human complex diseases, it is critical that broad Canadian expertise be available at all levels of research related to the selected material. Applications to the EMC program would be strengthened by showing the necessary research collaborations at the time of application (i.e., appropriate co-applicants with expertise on the tissues/diseases of interest).

At present, the following categories of human cell and tissue types are particularly recommended for Canadian mapping efforts.

  • Stem cells - including human embryonic stem cells, "adult" stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells (IPS), cancer stem/initiating cells, and differentiated cell types relevant to complex human diseases, including cancer
  • Placental tissue, and tissues relevant to disorders of genomic imprinting
  • Central nervous system tissue, including brain regions of relevance for neurodegenerative diseases (including Alzheimer disease, Parkinson's disease, and vascular dementia), developmental disorders (including autism), inflammation, epilepsy, mental ill health and addiction, retinal tissue and cancers. Separation and direct examination of neuronal and glial cell populations is encouraged.
  • Tissues relevant to cancer heterogeneity, and breast cancer
  • Tissues relevant to cardiovascular tissues
  • Tissues related to human immune function

Given the well-known factors of age-of-onset and sex-based differences in susceptibility to complex diseases, EMCs will be required to incorporate the variables of lifespan and sex in their epigenome mapping studies, where appropriate.

Additional cells and tissues not on this list are still eligible for mapping studies, particularly those already subjected to high content analyses by genomic approaches. However, a justification must be provided in the application, including appropriate research collaborators identified. Final selection of cells and tissues to be examined by the EMCs will be coordinated with other IHEC member countries.

This recommended list is subject to change, so please check back for updates.

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