2000 Letter of Invitation


August 10, 2000

Dear Colleague:

The Pharmacogenetics Research Network is a series of collaborative research groups, funded by the National Institutes of Health, that are studying how genetic variation contributes to interindividual differences in drug responses. These groups are working cooperatively to create a public Pharmacogenetics and Pharmacogenomics Knowledge Base (PharmGKB, http://www.pharmgkb.org/  Link to external Web site) which will contain comprehensive, integrative, non-proprietary information linking phenotypes and genotypes, organized so as to understand which sequence variations are functional and how they actually contribute to determining drug responses. The receptors and enzymes presently under study are involved in the etiology of many major common diseases, for example asthma, cancer, and depression, as well as the disposition of medications prescribed to treat those disorders. Representation of other disease areas such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or inflammation are targeted for future expansion of the network. The underlying theme of the Pharmacogenetics Research Network is interpreting pharmacologically important genetic sequence variation. The PharmGKB is envisioned as an information resource for the scientific community that will be available to all and can stimulate future hypothesis-driven research.

The Pharmacogenetics Research Network plans to convene an Industry Liaison Group and is seeking self-nominations from industrial representatives. This group can serve as a forum to identify common interests and complementary goals, at the present time and in the future. Representatives will be selected based upon their experience in the area, vision of future directions, knowledge of efforts ongoing in for-profit organizations, and interest in working with the governing body of the Pharmacogenetics Research Network. Consideration will be given to achieving balance in the group and including a range of representation.

In order to indicate an interest in consideration for appointment to the Industry Liaison Group, individuals are asked to submit a letter describing their background, interests, and involvement with pharmacogenetics/pharmacogenomics. Please also provide a copy of a current curriculum vitae. These materials should be submitted by October 10, 2000 to:

Rochelle M. Long, Ph.D.
Pharmacology, Physiology, & Biological Chemistry Division
45 Center Dr., Rm. 2AS-49G
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200

It is anticipated that the first meeting of the Industry Liaison Group will take place around January 2001, in conjunction with a meeting of the Executive Committee for the Pharmacogenetics Research Network and Knowledge Base. The group will probably number around five or six industrial representatives. Terms of appointment will be on an annual, renewable basis by mutual agreement, and the members' terms will be staggered to allow for turnover and yet retain continuity. The commitment will involve attending a meeting once or twice per year, likely in Bethesda, Maryland, with additional conference calls scheduled on an as-needed basis.

In order to keep a larger group of industrial, academic, and government professionals informed about the activities of the Pharmacogenetics Research Network, and to demonstrate the planned capabilities of the Knowledge Base, annual open meetings are planned. The first meeting will be held on NIH campus on April 25, 2001. A meeting Agenda, as well as information to register for the event, will be announced in the near future on the NIGMS web site, http://www.nigms.nih.gov.

For more information and details about the /Research/FeaturedPrograms/PGRN/. The institutes contributing to funding these efforts include the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), and the National Library of Medicine (NLM).

Thank-you for your interest. This letter may be shared widely; in particular sharing is encouraged with cross-industry interest groups. Please encourage qualified individuals to apply. Do not hesitate to contact either one of us if you have questions.


Rochelle M. Long, Ph.D.
Program Director, Pharmacogenetics
Research Network and Knowledge Base
Tel. (301) 594-1826
Fax (301) 480-2802
Mark J. Ratain, M.D.
Chair of the Steering Committee, Pharmacogenetics
Research Network and Knowledge Base
University of Chicago
Tel. (773) 702-4400
Fax (773) 702-3969