The Healthy Nevada Project was launched 15 months ago to combine genetic data with health and population data, as well as information from environmental databases to create a large health determinants data set. Now it is have partnering with Helix, a personal genomics company, for the next phase of the study.
Renown Institute for Health Innovation (Renown IHI) is creating a health determinants platform to identify and model public health risks ranging from disease and illness to the effects of environmental factors such as air quality on the health of Nevadans. Renown said the pilot phase of the study enrolled 10,000 participants in less than 48 hours and then completed subsequent DNA sample collection from each participant in 60 working days. Participants in the pilot phase of the study range from ages 18 to 90 years old from 135 zip codes in northern Nevada. Socioeconomic survey information was also collected during the pilot phase using a confidential online survey tool.
Using Helix’s Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology, research teams at Renown Health and the Desert Research Institute (DRI) plan to offer an additional 40,000 Nevadans the opportunity to have their DNA sequenced and participate in phase two of the Renown IHI study expected to open for enrollment in spring 2018.
“From the beginning, our focus with the Healthy Nevada Project has been on delivering personalized health data to our communities that will ultimately drive positive change for our state,” said Anthony Slonim, M.D., DrPH, president and CEO of Renown Health, and president of Renown IHI, in a prepared statement. “Community participants will be able to gain deeper, actionable insights into their DNA data, while our research teams gain unprecedented access to the largest clinical DNA sequencing facility in the world.”
In a statement, Joseph Grzymski, Ph.D., an associate research professor at DRI, co-director of Renown IHI, and principal investigator of the Healthy Nevada Project, talked about the next phase: “Our pilot phase used genotyping, which was a great start, but moving to exome sequencing and inviting an additional 40,000 people to participate will dramatically accelerate what we can learn about the human genome and has the potential to greatly improve preventative health and create incredible potential for new scientific discoveries.”
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