Alabama Genomic Health Initiative
Unlocking the potential in the human genome is part of the future of health care, and as the state’s leader in genomic medicine, UAB Medicine is taking a major step forward with the Alabama Genomic Health Initiative (AGHI). Funding for this initiative is provided by the state of Alabama.
About the Alabama Genomic Health Initiative
The program is aimed at preventing and treating disease, including certain types of cancer, heart problems, and genetic disorders. The program will also provide pharmacogenetic analysis to evaluate how participants may respond to certain medications. In collaboration with the the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville, UAB Medicine will provide genomic testing, interpretation, and counseling free of charge to residents in each of Alabama’s 67 counties. The AGHI also includes a major focus on research, through which data from test results will be used to advance scientific understanding of the role that genes play in health and disease.
The Alabama Genomic Health Initiative is one of the nation’s first statewide efforts to harness the power of genomic analysis in helping identify those who are at risk for diseases for genomic abnormalities. AGHI Leadership includes members from UAB, HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology and Tuskegee University, nationally recognized institutions that are leaders in bioethics and genomic medicine.
How it Works
Participants are being recruited through participating family medicine and primary care clinics. They are asked to donate a small blood sample and provide a brief family health history.
DNA, extracted from that sample, will be analyzed with genotype arrays for participants.
All participants and their providers will receive a findings report. Participants who have actionable disease risk findings (predicted to be 1–3 percent of participants) have the option to receive genetic counseling and referrals to appropriate medical care. In addition, participants and their medical providers will receive a pharmacogenetics report that may inform how a participant may respond to certain medications. Participants and their providers have the option to receive a pharmacist consult to review results.
Study data will create a statewide genomic database that could give researchers new insight into prevention and treatment of gene-related diseases. The AGHI also will help educate health providers statewide about genomic medicine and advance a genomics-ready population and health care workforce in Alabama.