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Program Snapshot

The NIH Common Fund Human Virome Program aims characterize the many viruses that reside inside us without causing disease and to improve our understanding of how they impact human health. The human virome is large and diverse. However, excluding the relatively small number of viruses that cause obvious clinical disease, viruses are largely understudied, and their interaction and impact on human health are unknown. Despite recent technological advances, significant challenges remain that have hindered progress, including detection sensitivity, contaminant removal, scalability, and sample adequacy. The goal of the Human Virome Program is to characterize the “healthy” human virome, remove technological roadblocks, and define the virome’s role in human health and disease.

The Human Virome program consists of four initiatives that will work synergistically to achieve the goals of the program. These initiatives will:

  • Characterize the human virome in longitudinal, diverse cohorts across the lifespan
  • Develop tools, models, and methods to experiment with and annotate the human virome
  • Support functional studies to reveal the interactions between the human host and the virome
  • Support a Data Analysis and Coordinating Center that will serve as an organizational hub for the consortium and provide coordination of data access and analysis

Outcomes from this research program may translate into the discovery of novel health- and disease-indicating biomarkers and potential therapeutic interventions for a myriad of human diseases.

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Notice of Correction to Budget Instructions for RFA-RM-23-019 "Human Virome Characterization Centers (U54 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)"

Prospective applicants were invited to a pre-application webinar on October 16, 2023. NIH staff discussed the Human Virome initiative and answered questions about the application and review process. The webinar recording and webinar slides are now available.

The Human Virome Program published new funding opportunities

The NIH approves the Human Virome Program

This page last reviewed on April 12, 2024