SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah (ABC4 News) – Utah loves researching our genealogy. Now, how about one designed just for your health and potential disease you may be predisposed to?
Intermountain Healthcare unveiled a groundbreaking 5-year DNA study to find new links between genetics and disease.
It’s the largest DNA mapping effort of it’s kind in the U.S. to include half a million people, primarily in Utah.
Intermountain Healthcare launches HerediGene, a study to collect half a million DNA samples.
“This represents the largest most comprehensive DNA mapping study in the U.S. and in the end we believe the largest in the world,” Dr. Marc Harrison, Intermountain CEO.
The global collaboration brings in a leader in population genomics DeCODE genetics from Reykjavik, Iceland.
The goal is to identify genes to predict and prevent disease.
“This project is unmatched in its scope and scale. It is unique there’s nothing like it that has been attempted before and when we’re successful there will be nothing like it accomplished before,” said Dr. Lincoln Nadauld, Intermountain Healthcare, Chief of Precision Health.
Floyd Hatch discovered he had a heart condition but not before he lost his brother years ago.
“He literally dropped dead. His life was over it was so hard for our family. Maybe that’s a glitch who knows.”
He suspects that ‘glitch’ took his sister’s life too.
“My sister did the same thing, collapsed in front of my mother and father in New Zealand.”
He wonders how many more of his family members could be affected.
“Now we’re looking at siblings of my dad, my cousins. We’re going through four generations already.”
Intermountain researchers hope the results of the study will empower patients.
“Take us from just taking care of people when their sick which is great. If we could avoid that sickness would be great,” said Dr. Harrison.
Researchers believe the study will uncover insights into some of society’s most debilitating diseases.
Participating in the study is free. If scientists find an anomaly or a gene mutation is identified you will be notified and consult with a genomics counselor.
To learn more about HerediGene: https://intermountainhealthcare.org/services/cancer-care/precision-genomics/heredigene/