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Brigham and Women's Hospital awarded $9.6 million to study whole genome sequencing
Date:12/8/2011

Boston, MA Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) has been awarded $9.6 million over four years from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) to fund the Medical Sequencing (MedSeq) Research Project. The MedSeq Project is the first clinical trial ever funded by NIH to empirically study the use of whole genome sequencing, the mapping of an individuals' entire DNA, in the practice of medicine.

The proposed project, led by a multi-disciplinary team of more than 40 scientists, will first design an informatics pipeline to interpret several million genetic variants from each patient, and generate clinical reports that will be meaningful to practicing physicians. After that, 200 patients and their physicians will be enrolled in a clinical trial where they will receive either standard care with whole genome sequencing or standard care without whole genome sequencing. Researchers will study two types of volunteers healthy middle-aged patients followed by primary care physicians and patients with newly diagnosed hereditary cardiomyopathy. The MedSeq Project will begin enrollment in 2012.

"This study will build on the expertise and accomplishments of this remarkable scientific team to create and test novel methods for interpreting whole genome sequencing information and actually using that information in clinical medicine," said Robert C. Green, MD, MPH, a physician-scientist in the Division of Genetics at BWH and overall director of the study. "This research will accelerate the use of genomics in clinical care, taking another step toward fulfilling the promise that genome sciences will usher in an era of personalized genetic medicine for the betterment of human health."

The first human genome was decoded through the Human Genome Project in 2003, however the use of individual sequencing in medical care is only beginning now, largely due to the falling costs of sequencing and bioinformatics advances. The MedSeq Project is the first cli
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Contact: Tom Langford
tlangford@partners.org
617-534-1605
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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