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New collaboration combines genomic sequencing and stem cell technology to understand disease
Date:12/8/2013

NEW YORK, NY (December 9, 2013) Today, the New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) Research Institute and PersonalGenomes.org announced a partnership to identify genetic and environmental contributions to trait and disease development. Cell lines generated by NYSCF will complement genomic data and medical histories contributed by participants in the Harvard Personal Genome Project (PGP), creating a unique and powerful resource to help researchers identify causes of disease.

"Mapping human genetics has laid the groundwork for personalized medicine to tailor treatments to patients on a level not previously achievable. And, now with stem cells, we can take this a step further: we can test and refine drugs on a patient's actual diseased cells," said Susan L. Solomon, CEO of NYSCF.

"Our challenge, going forward, is to leverage the tremendous amount of information from the PGP as the world's only open access source of human genome, microbiome and disease data into a resource for testing causes and cures. We are using PGP stem cells for studying human mutations, gene editing therapies, and novel transplantation methods. That is why we see such value in the integration of these new stem cell technologies through this partnership with NYSCF," said George Church, PhD, Professor of Genetics Harvard Medical School and Founder of the PGP.

To achieve this goal, NYSCF scientists will generate stem cell lines from skin samples of participants in the Harvard PGP. These cell lines can then be studied and compared to data gathered by the PGP including whole genomes, medical histories, body microbiomes and hundreds of other traits from over 3,000 participants. This tool will help achieve the joint goal of "functionalizing" personal genetics for all individuals, meaning using personal genetic information to make informed medical and health decisions.

In 2001, the Human Genome Project (HGP) f
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Contact: David McKeon
DMcKeon@nyscf.org
212-365-7440
New York Stem Cell Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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