COLLABORATIVE HEALTH INITIATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM (CHIRP)
The Collaborative Health Initiative Research Program (CHIRP) explores problems of particular importance to NHLBI and the U.S. Department of Defense, especially disorders of the heart, lungs, blood and sleep. CHIRP, a strategic alliance between the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and USU, was established in 2014, and advances the National Institutes of Health’s Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI). The program, under the directorship of the APG department chair, has four operational cores: Laboratory Core, a Bioinformatics Core, a Research Core, and a Clinical Core.
- The Laboratory Core has as its primary task the profiling human whole genome sequences at population-scale. Production utilizes robotic automation and Illumina HiSeq X and NovaSeq platforms. Since inception, it has generated genomic data for 28,000 samples across 87 research studies, sourced from NHLBI, other NIH Institutes, DoD, Veterans Affairs, and USU approved funded investigators.
- The Bioinformatics Core supports the Sequencing Core with a High Performance Compute Cluster, featuring an online storage capacity of 14 petabytes and a total archival storage of almost 20 petabytes. The Bioinformatics Core has managed and executed the CHIRP production analysis pipeline with minimal interruption for its first full year on the CHIRP Computational Laboratory.
- The Research Core manages funding and operational support of precision medicine projects by USU investigators, in collaboration with clinical investigators at WRNMMC and NHLBI. Of the current 37 funded research proposals, nine are in the APG department and twenty eight in other USU departments.
- The Clinical Core, under the direction of the USU Chair of Radiology, includes division and department chiefs from across the clinical spectrum and focuses attention on developing clinical cohorts particularly relevant to CHIRP interests.