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NIH Visits UW to Explain Why They Want Your Genome

By November 14, 2018No Comments

You may have agreed to donate your organs when you got your driver’s license. Perhaps you’ve even willed your body to science. But would you give your genome to the federal government?

National Institutes of Health officials hope 1 million people will say yes.

The NIH is asking for volunteers in a project to sequence the genetic material of a million people living in the U.S., making it possibly the largest research project in human history, said project director Eric Dishman. Dishman was at the University of Washington on Friday to discuss the project, which NIH is calling “All of Us.” The project will include participants’ electronic health records, as well as behavioral and environmental data.

Seattle will play a big role: About a third of the samples will be sequenced at the University of Washington’s Northwest Genomics Center, which has received a $7 million federal grant to start the work — one of only three such centers doing this work in the country.