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GEN News Highlights : Apr 26, 2007

German Consortium to Undertake Whole Genome Sequencing of 25,000 Patients and 25 Diseases

National Genome Research Network’s project will deploy Affymetrix and Illumina genotyping technology.

 The National Genome Research Network (NGFN) in Germany selected tools from Affymetrix and Illumina to genotype up to 25,000 patients and controls. NGFN’s study will investigate genetic variations to better understand underlying causes of 25 diseases, including Alzheimer's, epilepsy, heart diseases, malaria, and Parkinson's. It will build on NGFN’s first project to develop a control-cohort database that would be free and available to the public.

"With this large-scale project, we hope to encourage the launch of further projects of this kind," remarks Stefan Schreiber, Ph.D., of the University of Kiel. "The National Genome Research Network aims to drive this analysis to a meta-level above single phenotypes and thus understand genetic risk as an overarching susceptibility for general processes like inflammation, degeneration, or cancer."

The program will employ Affymetrix’ Genome-Wide Human SNP Array 5.0 and version 6.0 when it becomes available later this year as well as Illumina's Infinium® HumanCNV370-Duo, HumanHap300-Duo, and HumanHap550 BeadChips.

The NGFN consists of a team of scientists from more than 10 research institutions around Germany who are committed to standardizing the set of controls, protocols, and analysis tools for whole-genome association studies. Results of the studies will flow into a database accessible to both researchers from academia and the pharmaceutical industry.