Up to 1,000 genomes of Alzheimer patients will be sequenced over four years.

New York Genome Center (NYGC) started its first sequencing project with Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. The institute, which is part of NYGC founding member North Shore-LIJ Health System, will work to understand the genetic basis of susceptibility to Alzheimer disease.

Whole genome sequencing efforts will begin with 130 Alzheimer patient samples, for whom there is detailed clinical data and brain pathology available. Over a four-year period, up to 1,000 genomes of patients will be sequenced and compared to the genomes of a control group of elderly individuals. All data resulting from this project will be made freely available to the scientific community.

“This project is a massive undertaking that involves sequencing 30 billion bases per person for 1,000 patient samples and then comparing these sequences to normal individuals,” notes Peter Davies, Ph.D., scientific director of the Feinstein Institute’s Litwin-Zucker Center for Research on Alzheimer’s Disease. “NYGC provides us with the sequencing expertise and data analysis capability that are required for such a large-scale endeavor.”

Nancy J. Kelley, founding executive director of NYGC, adds, “The Feinstein Institute’s commitment to sharing the data resulting from these efforts with the greater research community could significantly accelerate the speed of translational research in Alzheimer disease, with a profound impact on patient care and clinical outcomes, which is in line with the vision of NYGC.”

This project is being funded through a grant by private philanthropists Frank and Mildred Feinberg of Locust Valley, NY, and their family, in memory of Mrs. Feinberg’s mother, Esther Corman, who succumbed to Alzheimer disease.

Founded in August 2010, NYGC is a public-private coalition of universities, medical centers, technology partners, pharmaceutical companies, and private philanthropists that are engaged in a cooperative effort to transform medical research and clinical care. As part of the collaboration, NYGC will provide Illumina with access to its institutional founding members. Illumina will provide NYGC with early access to key new products.

“This next phase in our collaboration with the New York Genome Center is an opportunity to create new bioinformatic channels and solutions, while integrating research into translational medicine,” comments Matt Posard, svp and GM of Illumina’s Translational and Consumer Genomics Business.

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