Partners HealthCare enrolls 100K patients in Biobank genetic research database

Partners HealthCare's Biobank has surpassed 100,000 participants, making it one of the largest genetic databases in the U.S., the Boston-based health system announced July 8.

Biobank participants submit a small blood sample, along with their EHR, family history and a self-reported health and lifestyle survey. Once the sample has been genotyped, the data is made available to researchers and clinicians at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital and other Partners institutions.

The information in the database has so far been used in more than 200 studies, including ones focused on the role of genetics in cardiomyopathy, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer and cerebral aneurysms, the genetic impact of antidepressants and other medications, and the development of an algorithm to identify Alzheimer's risk, among others.

"Greater participation in the Biobank enables us to increase the scale and scope of our research and provides our researchers with access to data and information that would otherwise take them years to source," said Scott T. Weiss, MD, the Biobank's principal investigator. "We are already seeing tremendous results from the Biobank, both for individual patients where a health concern was identified, to large studies that are helping us to identify diseases like Alzheimer's and cancer in patients who have yet to develop any symptoms."

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