13 April

17 million for Dutch biomedical research united in X-omics

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The X-omics initiative, with the Hubrecht Institute (KNAW) as one of the partners, receives 17 million euros from the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). X-omics unites the newest molecular technologies for fundamental research on DNA, proteins and metabolites, and aids the gathering of important knowledge on cancer, immune reactions, rare diseases and effects of genetic mutations in the population.

X-omics (pronounced as ‘cross-omics’) unites molecular technologies that may lead to groundbreaking progress in mapping underlying mechanisms of health and disease. These technologies also play a growing role in diagnostics for personalized patient care. With the X-omics grant, the Dutch research structure receives an extra impulse – DNA research (genomics), protein research (proteomics), metabolites (metabolomics) and the integration of this data. The added value of X-omics is the cooperation of leading institutes that are active in all these fields of -omics and data integration. By working together in X-omics, they can make a leap forward and expand the possibilities of their technological possibilities. By assembling genomics, proteomics and metabolomics data, the interaction between DNA, proteins and metabolites becomes visible. This creates an image of cells and tissues working together as a system.

Human genome
The allotment of 17 million to X-omics confirms the leading role of the partners’ research facilities. Together with the UMC Utrecht and Utrecht University, the Hubrecht Institute is a partner in the proteins@work facility. ‘These facilities make use of the newest technologies’, says prof. dr. Edwin Cuppen, professor of Human Genetics at the UMC Utrecht. ‘They play an important role in mapping and studying genome function in healthy and diseased cells and individuals.’ Prof. dr. Boudewijn Burgering, professor of Signal Transduction at the UMC Utrecht and involved in the proteomics branch of X-omics: ‘To us, X-omics and the NWO grant mean that we can keep the proteins@work facility up and running. It is of great importance for fundamental research in the role of proteins.’

The National Roadmap for Large-Scale Research Facilities stimulates large research facilities with which The Netherlands can consolidate their international position. X-omics is one of the ten projects rewarded with a grant by minister Van Engelshoven of the ministry of Education, Culture and Sciences. In total, 138 million euros will be allotted to facilitate large-scale scientific infrastructure in The Netherlands.