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Biologics center gets $44.5M grant from NIMH

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RUCDR Infinite Biologics has received a $44.5 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health, which enables federally funded scientists to use the Rutgers-based genetic research facility as their primary resource for studying genomic research and mental disorders.

A RUCDR spokesman said the new, five-year grant is the third in a series of multiyear partnerships between the Piscataway facility and the NIMH. The grant comes during an era when more research is focusing on the genetic causes of mental illness.

The new grant will enable RUCDR Infinite Biologics to collect, process and analyze blood and tissue samples from NIMH-funded scientists nationwide, and use that data to provide advanced statistical analysis, according to a news release. RUCDR Infinite Biologics CEO Jay Tischfield was named the grant's principal investigator.

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RUCDR staffers extract tissues to produce DNA, RNA and other products, and conduct genetic analysis on the samples it receives. It shares data with researchers exploring genetic factors underlying schizophrenia, autism, Tourette syndrome and other mental health conditions.

This grant will support the NIMH Center for Collaborative Genomics Research on Mental Disorders, a collaboration among NIMH, Rutgers University, Washington University in St. Louis, and the University of Southern California.

Based on Allison Road at Busch campus, RUCDR has served as NIMH's primary facility for genetic analysis since 1998.

RUCDR is growing, christening last month a $10.8 million addition dubbed the Genomics Technology Center. The expansion enhances the center's ability to study causes of human disease by providing more laboratory, office and storage space.

Reporter Tom Zanki is @BizTZanki on Twitter.

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