This Funding Opportunity is to create the consortium structure for the Canadian Epigenetics, Environment and Health Research Consortium (CEEHRC), one of CIHR’s Roadmap Signature Initiatives. Epigenetics is the study of changes in the regulation of gene activity and expression that are not dependent on alterations in gene sequence. Epigenetics provides a compelling model for how environmental influences throughout life can have long-long effects on human health.
A number of dedicated funding opportunities have been launched over the last several years to create the core elements of CEEHRC, as required to advance the field of epigenetics in Canada and to link it to human health outcomes. Among others, these have included the creation of a National Epigenomics Platform (comprised of several Epigenomic Mapping Centres and Epigenomic Data Coordination Centres), innovative Catalyst grants to develop transformative new technologies and approaches, fellowship and training programs, and multi-disciplinary Team grants exploring gene-environment interactions and the links between epigenetics and human health and disease.
The goal of the current funding opportunity is to establish the national consortium structure that will network together all the previously funded CEEHRC components, and expand their reach to the broader health research community in Canada and internationally. Domestically, this includes linking to other Nodes of Genome Canada’s Genomics Innovation Network, as well as additional groups whose activities could inform and further develop the fields of epigenetics and epigenomics. Internationally, this consortium is expected to build on Canada’s leadership role in the International Human Epigenome Consortium (IHEC), to expand the international reach and impact of CEEHRC.