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SAP Collaborating with Stanford on Disease Susceptibility Research; Joins Data Sharing Initiative

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – German software firm SAP today announced a collaboration with the Stanford School of Medicine to investigate genetic contributions to disease susceptibility.

The company also said that it is participating in the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health.

Under the collaboration with Stanford, researchers will use SAP's HANA platform to elucidate human genome variation and the implications for disease, especially cardiovascular disease, SAP said. Along research into what role genetics plays, work will be conducted into how environmental exposure, behavior, and other factors contribute to disease susceptibility.

Carlos Bustamente, director of the Stanford Center for Computational, Human, and Evolutionary Genomics; Euan Ashley, associate professor of Medicine and Genetics; and Atul Butte, associate professor of Pediatrics and Genetics, are heading the effort, which "aims to advance genomics research in the clinical environment, ultimately leading to improved healthcare and personalized medicine," SAP said.

The firm noted that Stanford scientists have used the SAP HANA analytics platform to corroborate the results of a study that discovered that the genetic risk of type 2 diabetes varies between populations. Butte's lab used the platform to simultaneously query all 125 genetic variants previously associated with type 2 diabetes across 629 individuals. Traditional methods, SAP said, would have required "an unreasonable amount of time" to analyze the amount of data.

SAP also said that it is participating in the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health and plans to help identify best practices and establish a common framework of standards and approaches to enable the sharing of genomic and clinical data responsibly and securely.