Mount Sinai to sequence genes of 1 million patients

New York City-based Mount Sinai Health System has started a gene-sequencing program that will be one of the largest of its kind.

The project aims to enroll a racially and ethnically diverse group of about a million Mount Sinai patients over the next five years to give researchers an extensive dataset to develop targeted treatments and new therapies.

"At Mount Sinai, precision medicine rests on a three-legged stool of gene sequencing, advanced electronic medical records and cutting-edge algorithmic data analysis techniques. This project exemplifies that highly promising approach," Eric Nestler, MD, PhD, chief scientific officer at  Mount Sinai, stated in an Aug. 12 health system news release.

Mount Sinai is partnering on the initiative with Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, digital health platform Vibrent Health, and biotech firm Regeneron.

"By diversifying and expanding the population of participants in genomic studies, we can accelerate the time course for important new discoveries and the incorporation of genomics in medicine," stated Aris Baras, MD, senior vice president at Regeneron and general manager of the Regeneron Genetics Center.

The project will sequence and analyze the DNA of consenting patients, then link that information to deidentified versions of their EHR data that the scientists will study.

The initiative will "provide researchers with the massive, clinically focused, real world data that are needed to truly determine the effectiveness of precision medicine and hopefully improve patient care," stated project leader Alexander Charney, MD, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry and genetics and genomic sciences at Icahn Mount Sinai.

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