Call for community requests for BAC library production

Good, Peter (NHGRI) goodp at mail.nih.gov
Thu Oct 11 09:57:20 EST 2001


*****FIRST RECEIPT DATE - NOVEMBER 15, 2001*****

Instructions for proposing organisms from which to make new BAC
libraries (October 9, 2001)

Over the past several years, the bacterial artificial chromosome 
(BAC) has emerged as the vector system of choice for the 
construction of the large-insert chromosomal DNA libraries that are 
needed in genomic studies. Because BAC clones are relatively 
large and appear to faithfully represent an organism's genome, the 
BAC system will also be the vehicle of choice for the isolation of 
targeted regions of genomic DNA from additional organisms being 
used in specific biological studies, a variety of mouse strains, and 
even from individual humans. With the increasing interest in 
genomic approaches to biological research, the demand for new 
BAC libraries is expected to increase rapidly in the next several 
years.  To meet the need to increase the number of available BAC 
libraries, NHGRI, NCRR, NIMH and NICHD plan to award a set of 
cooperative agreements (by December 1, 2001) to form the NIH 
BAC Resource Network and increase the national BAC library-
making capacity.  

As of November 15, 2001, the following procedure will apply to all 
requests from investigators who wish to the NIH-supported capacity 
for constructing BAC libraries from the genome of any organism for 
which there is currently no BAC library or for which a new library is 
needed. This procedure applies to:  

*       Requests for BAC library construction through the BAC 
Library Resource Network.  This procedure applies only to the 
choice of BAC library construction targets for the cooperative 
agreements funded under the NIH BAC Resource Network.   Other 
agencies also support laboratories to construct BAC libraries and 
inquiries about having BAC libraries made under that support 
should be directed to those agencies.  

*       Requests for making BAC libraries from all organisms except 
eubacteria, archaea, and plants.  The Institutes supporting the 
BAC Resource Network are components of the National Institutes 
of Health. Accordingly, their primary missions are to develop and 
apply techniques of genomics and large-scale biology to the 
improvement of human health and to the improved understanding of 
science that will lead to the improvement of human health. The 
sequencing of eubacterial, archaeal, and plant genomes are more 
appropriate to the missions of other components of the NIH and/or 
other agencies.  

The following is a set of instructions that describe how individuals,
groups, or entire research communities can submit requests to gain
access to this resource and how decisions about allocating the
capacity will be made.

1.  To propose an organism as a candidate for having a BAC library
constructed from its genome, a written request must be submitted 
to NHGRI.

a.      The written request should address the following issues:
o       The importance of the organism to biomedical or biological 
research; 
o       Uses to which the BAC library would be put, in addition to 
genomic sequencing; 
o       The size of the research community that could potentially 
use the BAC library and the community's interest in and support for 
having a BAC library; 
o      Whether the organism will be, or has been, proposed to 
NHGRI or another publicly funded agency for BAC-based genomic 
sequencing and the status of that request; 
o       Other genomic resources that are available that will 
complement this resource; 
o       The strain of the organism proposed and rationale for its 
selection 
o       The size of the genome; 
o       The availability of a source of DNA for construction of the 
BAC library (evidence of its quality for this purpose); 
o       Specifications for the library (e.g., library depth, BAC insert 
size) and supporting scientific rationale for these specifications.  
(Note: any request for an unusual vector for a particular application 
must be thoroughly discussed); 
o       The time frame in which the library is needed; 
o       Other support that is available or has been requested for the 
construction of the desired library; 
o       The need for an additional BAC library if one or more already 
exists; and 
o       Any other relevant information. 

b.      Other NIH Institutes or Centers may subsequently decide to 
contribute funds to this program for the construction of a specific 
BAC library using the expanded national BAC library-making 
capacity. In such cases, the decision about the need for preparing 
the library will already have been made.  A written request must be 
still submitted, but can be limited to a discussion of the 
specifications needed and DNA resources available, so that the 
library maker will have the information necessary to develop a plan 
for making the library.  

c.      A written request may be submitted by an individual, a 
research group or a collaborative group, or by an individual(s) on 
behalf of an entire research community.  

d.      The written request should not exceed a total of five pages 
and must address all of the issues under 1a.  If one or more issues 
are not applicable to the specific request, that should be stated 
clearly, rather than not addressed.   There is no specific form 
necessary for submission of a request nor is any specific format 
required, but all of the issues listed in item 1a should be 
addressed.  

e.      The first set of written requests will be accepted on 
November 15, 2001.  Thereafter, written requests will be accepted 
three times a year, on February 1, June 1, and October 1.  

f.      The written request should be submitted by e-mail to: 
BAC_Library_Requests at mail.nih.gov  


2.  A peer review committee set up by NHGRI program staff will 
assess the written requests on the basis of scientific interest and 
strategic feasibility based on the responsiveness to the issues 
described under 1a, and will establish a priority ranking for each 
request.  The membership will be posted at www.nhgri.nih.gov once 
the committee is formed. The assessment process will NOT involve 
the regular NIH peer review system.  

a.       For each organism proposed, the committee will 
recommend whether the NIH BAC Resource Network should 
accept the request and, if so, whether it should be assigned to a 
high priority pool or to a standard priority pool.  If the written 
request does not present enough information or a strong enough 
case to the allow the committee to come to a decision, the request 
will be declined and the applicant can resubmit the request at the 
next deadline.  

b.      Libraries whose construction is specifically being funded by 
other NIH Institutes participating in this program will automatically 
be assigned to the high priority pool, unless there is a serious flaw 
in the proposed plan.  

c.      The committee's decisions will be reported yearly, in writing, 
by NHGRI staff to the National Advisory Council for Human 
Genome Research.  

3.  New libraries to be constructed will be chosen from the priority 
pools on a schedule to be agreed upon by NHGRI staff and the 
laboratories participating in the BAC Library Resource Network.  

4. The BAC library Resource Network will be overseen by a BAC 
Resource Steering Panel of 4-6 scientists, who will regularly 
evaluate the program's overall progress and make 
recommendations to the NHGRI and participating Institutes about 
any adjustments that need to be made to the program.  This 
membership of this Panel will be posted at www.nhgri.nih.gov once 
the committee is selected.  

5.   For additional information about the BAC library construction
program, please contact:

Dr. Jane Peterson
Program Director, Large-scale Sequencing
National Human Genome Research Institute
Building 31, Room B2B07
MSC 2033
National Institutes of Health
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda
Maryland  20852-2033
Phone:  (301) 496-7531
Fax:     (301) 480-2770
e-mail:  jane_peterson at nih.gov






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