Intermountain Healthcare unveiled a major global collaboration and study focused on discovering new links between genetics and human disease on Wednesday.
The new initiative is in partnership with deCODE genetics, an Icelandic subsidiary of biotech giant Amgen. The partners' study will involve the collection of half-a-million DNA samples of Intermountain patients over the next 5 years from across the state of Utah.
The new initiative - called The HerediGene: Population Study - represents the largest and most comprehensive DNA mapping effort to date in the United States from a single population.
Scientists hope that medications, treatments, and healthcare innovations that can benefit patients universally, may be developed from new discoveries that give insight into human genetics that can be used to prevent common diseases such as breast and colon cancer.
The study is voluntary and free to consenting participants. Those patients who give consent also have the option to receive a genetic results report of their genomic analysis if a clinically significant gene mutation is identified.