Geisinger biobank tallies 100,000 DNA donors

In a little more than two years, 100,000 people have signed up to participate in Geisinger Health System's biobank and DNA sequencing study.

The Danville, Pa.-based health system launched its genomics initiative, MyCode Community Health Initiative, in January 2014 in collaboration with the Regeneron Genetics Center, a Tarrytown, N.Y.-based subsidiary of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. The original project called for a five-year collaboration in which the health system would collect more than 100,000 DNA samples from patient volunteers and Regeneron Genetics Center would conduct sequencing and genotyping to analyze the link between genes and disease.

David Feinberg, MD, president and CEO of Geisinger, said in a statement the collaboration was able to reach its 100,000 volunteer goal because of the trust Pennsylvanians have in the health system.

"The people of Pennsylvania are incredible," Dr. Feinberg said. "The families in our core markets are multigenerational and the population is incredibly stable, meaning they don't move away from the area. When we ask to look into their genome, they tell us 'yes' based on trust and respect. And that plays directly into what's happening when it comes to our success with genomics."

Now that the collaboration has exceeded its goal, researchers are increasing their target to 250,000 participants.

More articles on genomics:

Intermountain, Stanford establish research program focused on precision health: 6 things to know
Mount Sinai, Sage Bionetworks analyze nearly 600k genomes
9 questions about precision medicine, answered

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