LAFAYETTE, Colo.— Dharmacon Inc., a supplier of RNA and RNA interference (RNAi) research products, last month announced the formation of the Genome-Wide RNAi Global Initiative, an alliance of leading international biomedical research centers. The initial goal of the initiative is to accelerate the scientific and medical discoveries made possible by the recent availability of the first complete siRNA library to target genes across the entire human genome.
Genome-wide siRNA libraries have the potential to change biological research by increasing scientists' ability to understand disease mechanisms and facilitating new drug discovery and development. The global initiative will provide a forum for member institutions to share research protocols, establish experimental standards and develop mechanisms for exchanging and comparing screening data.
Founding members include The Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research at Princess Margaret Hospital and Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital, both with The University of Toronto; Cancer Research UK (CRUK) funded scientists at the London Research Institute and the Institute of Can-cer Research (ICR); The German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ); UNMC Eppley Cancer Center at the University of Nebraska Medical Center; Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI); The Scottish Centre for Genomic Technology and Informatics (GTI) based at the University of Edinburgh Medical School; University of Texas South-western Medical Center and Yale University. The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center and The University of Cambridge scientists at the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research and MRC Cancer Cell Unit are also expected to join the global initiative, pending final institutional approval.