New York Genome Center , in collaboration with Illumina, announced at the Advances in Genome Biology and Technology (AGBT) annual meeting the initiation of a large-scale whole genome sequencing project with the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, part of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, an Institutional Founding Member of NYGC. This represents the first of many large-scale human genome sequencing projects that will be initiated by NYGC, leveraging its unique, strategic collaboration with Illumina.
The overarching goal of this project is to understand the genetic basis of susceptibility to Alzheimer’s disease, of which very little is currently known. Knowledge of genetic susceptibility will help to assess an individual’s lifetime risk of developing the disease, and better define the molecular pathways responsible for neuronal degeneration. Understanding the molecular basis of neuronal degeneration will allow scientists to develop effective strategies for early detection and targeted treatment.
Whole genome sequencing efforts will begin with 130 Alzheimer’s patient samples, for whom there is detailed clinical data and brain pathology available. Over a four-year period, up to 1,000 genomes of patients with Alzheimer’s disease will be sequenced and compared to the genomes of a control group of elderly individuals. All data resulting from this project will be made freely available to the scientific community.
“This exciting endeavor is a great example of the collaborative potential of New York Genome Center, working alongside our Institutional Founding Members and a technology leader like Illumina,” said Nancy J. Kelley, JD, MPP, Founding Executive Director of the New York Genome Center. “The Feinstein Institute’s commitment to sharing the data resulting from these efforts with the greater research community could significantly accelerate the speed of translational research in Alzheimer’s disease, with a profound impact on patient care and clinical outcomes, which is in line with the vision of NYGC.”
The genome sequencing, bioinformatics and data storage services being made available to NYGC will enable the Feinstein Institute and other NYGC member institutions to complete large scale genomic research projects, utilizing the latest technology and most advanced analytical expertise. Together, NYGC and Illumina are committed to transforming the current research model into a fully integrated partnership of leading academic centers and market leaders in pharma sequencing technology.
“This project is a massive undertaking that involves sequencing 30 billion bases per person for 1,000 patient samples and then comparing these sequences to normal individuals,” said Peter Davies, PhD, scientific director of the Feinstein Institute’s Litwin-Zucker Center for Research on Alzheimer’s Disease. “NYGC provides us with the sequencing expertise and data analysis capability that are required for such a large scale endeavor.”