Issue Date: August 22, 2011
NIH Moves Genomics Into Clinical Care
NIH’s National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) will provide $25 million over the next four years to researchers in the Electronic Medical Records & Genomics (eMERGE) network to show that a patient’s genome can be linked to disease symptoms in their medical records to improve their care. “Our goal is to connect genomic information to high-quality data in electronic medical records during the clinical care of patients. This will help us identify the genetic contributions to disease,” says NHGRI Director Eric D. Green. The eMERGE network finished its first phase in July, identifying genetic variants associated with dementia, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and other diseases. The investigators are now planning to identify genetic variants associated with 40 more disease symptoms using DNA from about 32,000 participants. Eventually, eMERGE researchers will use the genomic information in clinical settings to adjust patient medications and determine which patients need intervention to prevent, diagnose, or treat diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
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