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Illumina Partners With Four Institutions to Genotype Biobank Samples

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Vanderbilt University, the University of Colorado at Denver, Partners HealthCare, and the Montreal Heart Institute will use Illumina array and sequencing technology to genotype samples in their respective biobanks, Illumina said today.

Under the biobanking deals, which are separate, a total of 200,000 samples will initially be analyzed using Illumina's Infinium Expanded Multi-Ethnic genotyping array, Infinium HumanMethylation 450K array, and sequencing systems. The aim is to discover genetic factors that contribute to heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, bipolar disorder, Crohn's disease, and other complex diseases. The University of Colorado project will start in the first quarter while the other three programs are already underway.

Vanderbilt University will use Illumina's MEGA EX genotyping array and sequencing technology to analyze 100,000 samples from its BioVU biobank. The goal is to study how genome variation that impacts gene expression across a variety of tissues alters the risk of common diseases.

For a pilot study, the University of Colorado at Denver will initially genotype 30,000 samples on the Illumina MEGA EX array and analyze 2,000 samples on the DNA Methylation EPIC chip. Subsequently, the biobank plans to analyze hundreds of thousands of samples per year for several years.

Partners HealthCare is analyzing 25,000 samples from its biobank using Illumina technology for RNA sequencing, a DNA methylation array, and the MEGA Array.

The Montreal Heart Institute will use the MEGA array to genotype more than 50,000 samples from its biobank as part of a program to identify genetic predictors of drug response in cardiometabolic diseases. A subset of the samples will be used in a longitudinal cohort study for clinical validation.