One of the big challenges in medicine today is to discover how genes, behavior, and the environment interact - and how to use that knowledge to predict, prevent, and treat disease for individual patients.
Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) is rising to this challenge with its pioneering project OurGenes, OurHealth, OurCommunity®. Using blood samples and health information collected from more than 100,000 participants, OurGenes® will establish a databank of genetic, medical, and lifestyle information that researchers can use to determine health and disease patterns. These patterns may help scientists discover which people are more likely to get certain diseases, which patients will have good responses to medical treatment, and which lifestyle factors can be changed to improve health.
Patients who consent to participate in the program will donate blood samples; respond to a survey about lifestyle, behavior, and environment; and provide a family medical history, all of which will be linked to their medical records. High-level security measures will protect patients’ personal information in the database.
Led by Christine Seidman, MD, and Elizabeth Karlson, MD, co-chairs of the BWH Biomedical Research Institute Center for Human Genetics, OurGenes has the potential to change the way medicine is practiced - from a focus on treatment and disease to a focus on prevention and health.
OurGenes® is approved by the Partners Institutional Review Board and compliant with HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). The privacy and confidentiality of individual participants is of utmost importance to OurGenes® and state-of-the-art safeguards are in place to protect the OurGenes® data and information.