NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Research Triangle Institute plans at the end of June to release a survey for genomics researchers, healthcare specialists, and a range of other experts, which it will use as part of a collaboration with the National Human Genome Research Institute to develop consensus measures that can be used in genome-wide association studies.
RTI said Friday it is working with the NHGRI, through $6.8 million in grant funding over three years, to identify up to 20 research disciplines that are significant for research and public health and will develop 15 standard measures for each of these disciplines. The goal is to obtain information about phenotypes and relationships about genetics, environment, health, and disease for use in GWA studies and other large-scale genomics research programs.
The collaboration aims to improve the ability of research groups to combine data and to increase the size of their population samples and enhance the ability to detect genes that are associated with common, complex disease.
The first of these PhenX (Phenotypes and eXposures) surveys will present proposed measures for a domain focused on demographic characteristics of interest such as age, sex, ethnicity, ancestry, education, income, and employment status. But the surveys will not be the only way the PhenX program develops specifications for the measures; these decisions also will be made through working groups and a steering committee.
"The participation and collaboration of experts from diverse scientific and health disciplines are essential to making this project a success," Carol Hamilton, who is director of Bioinformatics at North Carolina-based RTI and principal investigator on the project, said in a statement.
"The ability to combine the results of these studies is critical to furthering our knowledge of the many complex relationships between genetics, environmental factors, health and disease," said Jonathan Haines, who chairs the PhenX steering committee.