The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has announced a new collaborative initiative to explore poorly understood genes that could be altered with drug therapy, known as “druggable genes.”

While up to 3,000 genes express proteins that have the potential to be modified by medications, only 10% are currently targeted by FDA-approved treatments. As part of the NIH Common Fund, the Illuminating the Druggable Genome (IDG) will be a three-year pilot program awarding $5.8 million to eight institutions in order to research understudied genes in nuclear receptors, ion channels, protein kinases, and G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs).

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The IDG will also include a grant to establish a Knowledge Management Center and additional grants to develop technology to better understand the functions of members of these four protein families.

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