The Kaiser Permanente Research Program on Genes, Environment, and Health (RPGEH) and the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) received a two-year $24.8 million NIH grant to create a new resource for studying disease, health, and aging. A significant portion of this money is expected to be used to purchase Affymetrix’ Axiom Genotyping Solution.
The aim is to perform genome-wide analyses of DNA samples from 100,000 Kaiser Permanente members. The Axiom technology reportedly delivers high-throughput automation and enables the discovery of genetic variations associated with complex disease.
The members have volunteered for a large-scale research program designed to create a new resource for studying disease, health, and aging. DNA studies will be linked to Kaiser Permanente’s electronic health record system. Information from health surveys and environmental data will also be analyzed. These resources are expected to give researchers an entirely new platform for studying genetic and environmental influences over time on a wide variety of health conditions, across diverse populations.
The Kaiser Permanente RPGEH is designed to facilitate epidemiologic studies of both genetic and environmental influences on common health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, asthma, mental health disorders, and many others.
The Axiom Solution is configured to continually validate and incorporate the output of large-scale sequencing projects. Initial offerings are designed from public databases of human variations and cover historical HapMap data supplemented by subsequent releases of additional variants. In addition, Affymetrix is screening millions of putative SNPs and insertions/deletions that are being discovered by the 1000 Genomes Project and other sources and will make these available to researchers using the Axiom Solution.
The solution consists of Axiom Array Plates, complete Axiom Reagent Kits, an automated target preparation station developed jointly by Affymetrix and Beckman Coulter, plus the GeneTitan™ Multi-Channel (MC) Instrument. The GeneTitan MC Instrument integrates a hybridization oven, fluidics processing, CCD imaging device, and analysis software for maximum data reproducibility, user productivity, and scalability.