We now know a lot about the human genome, and researchers are striving to bring that knowledge to the clinic where it will benefit patients. To that end, the National Institutes of Health has announced a $18.9 million funding effort to accelerate the practice of applying genetic sequencing to clinical care. It is a facet of the Clinical Sequencing Evidence-Generating Research, or CSER2, Consortium.
"CSER's initial goal was more exploratory in nature to see if we could, in fact, integrate genome sequencing into clinical care," explained Lucia Hindorff, a program director in the National Human Genome Research Institute's Division of Genomic Medicine. "The exploratory focus allowed each site to develop its own approach. Working together, CSER investigators were effective in identifying common challenges and opportunities for advancing this integration."
CSER2 researchers are focusing on underserved populations and will aim to demonstrate the need to sequence the genome for clinical use.
"Engaging patient populations that are traditionally underrepresented in genomics research, coupled with the inclusion of broader types of healthcare settings, will enrich the data that result from CSER2," noted Dr. Regina Smith James, director of Clinical and Health Services Research at the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.