The NHLBI “Grand Opportunity” Exome Sequencing Project



Made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the NHLBI Large-Scale DNA Sequencing Project provided six awards at five academic institutions to identify genetic connections to heart, lung, and blood diseases — accounting for three of the four leading causes of death in the United States. Historically, such a “deep” sequencing effort would be prohibitively time-consuming, costly, and laborious for a single laboratory. However, advances in sequencing technology coupled with the infusion of funds allowed the NHLBI to recruit and employ a team of researchers to work together over the last two years to accomplish this vital step in the path toward achieving personalized medicine. Individual studies address critical health issues such as heart attack, stroke, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, overweight and obesity, and others.

Featured in the video are Christopher O’Donnell, M.D., M.P.H., of the NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI); Cristen Willer, Ph.D., University of Michigan; Edwin Silverman, M.D., Ph.D., Harvard Medical School; and Sekar Kathiresan, M.D., Massachusetts General Hospital.

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