NEW YORK—The New York Genome Center (NYGC), in collaboration withIllumina Inc., has announced a large-scale whole genome sequencing project targeting Alzheimer's withthe Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, part of the North Shore-LIJHealth System, one of the Institutional Founding Members of NYGC. Theundertaking is intended to be the first of many large-scale human genomesequencing projects by NYGC as it makes use of its strategic collaboration withIllumina.
"This project is a massive undertaking that involves sequencing 30billion bases per person for 1,000 patient samples and then comparing thesesequences to normal individuals," Peter Davies, Ph.D., scientific director ofthe Feinstein Institute's Litwin-Zucker Center for Research on Alzheimer'sDisease, said in a press release. "NYGC provides us with the sequencingexpertise and data analysis capability that are required for such a large-scaleendeavor."
The project will aim to identify and study the genetics beingsusceptibility to Alzheimer's disease. If genetic susceptibility can bedetermined, it could aid in assessing patient risk as well as shining line onwhich pathways are responsible for or implicated in neuronal degeneration.Gaining an understanding of the molecular basis of neuronal degeneration willaid researchers in identifying strategies for early detection of Alzheimer's aswell as potential targeted treatments. The project will begin with thewhole-genome sequencing of 130 Alzheimer's patient samples with accompanyingclinical data and brain pathology. Over four years, up to 1,000 genomes will besequenced and compared with the genomes of elderly individuals without thedisease, with all resulting data to be made open to the scientific community atlarge.
"This exciting endeavor is a great example of the collaborativepotential of New York Genome Center, working alongside our InstitutionalFounding Members and a technology leader like Illumina," Nancy J. Kelley, JD,MPP, Founding Executive Director of NYGC, said in a press release. "TheFeinstein Institute's commitment to sharing the data resulting from theseefforts with the greater research community could significantly accelerate thespeed of translational research in Alzheimer's disease, with a profound impacton patient care and clinical outcomes, which is in line with the vision ofNYGC."
Davies will be responsible for directing the Feinberg Initiative tosequence the patient genomes over the next four years. As part of theagreement, NYGC will grant Illumina access to its Institutional FoundingMembers, representing medical and academic experts in multiple areas, whileIllumina will in turn provide NYGC early access to new products as well as itsindustry expertise.
"The launch of this initiative with NYGC and The FeinsteinInstitute will enable a deeper understanding of the clinical application ofgenetics, along the path of improving human health," Jay Flatley, President andCEO of Illumina, said in a press release. "We're confident that Illumina's collaborationwith NYGC will play a major role in enabling Feinstein's success in achievingits goals toward understanding the genetic basis of susceptibility forAlzheimer's disease."
"This next phase in our collaboration with the New York GenomeCenter is an opportunity to create new bioinformatic channels and solutions,while integrating research into translational medicine," Matt Posard, SeniorVice President and General Manager of Illumina's Translational and ConsumerGenomics Business, added.
Funding for the undertaking comes from a grant by privatephilanthropists Frank and Mildred Feinberg of Locust Valley, N.Y., and theirfamily, in memory of Esther Corman, Mrs. Feinberg's mother, who had Alzheimer'sdisease.
SOURCE: NYGC press release