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23andMe, partners launch Nevada population study

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Sept. 28, 2016—Nevada-based Renown Health and the Desert Research Institute are collaborating with 23andMe to launch a statewide population health study. The project will combine health, population, and genetic information with environmental data and return 23andMe genetic results to study participants.

Funded by the Renown Health Foundation and Nevada’s Knowledge Fund, this pilot study will offer community members the opportunity to volunteer for research and gain access to their individual genetic information at no cost. 23andMe’s Genotyping Services for Research platform will enable researchers to review genetic data and health-related survey responses from study participants. Combining genetic data with health and population data from Renown, as well as information from environmental databases, DRI scientists will analyze and model public health risks ranging from disease and illness to the effects of air quality on the health of Nevadans.

The study is open to the first 5,000 northern Nevada residents that qualify. Each participant will receive 23andMe’s Personal Genome Service, including more than 65 personalized genetic reports on their health, traits, and ancestry. Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, a Republican, announced his participation as one of the first Nevada residents to complete 23andMe’s DNA test as part of this study. Researchers hope to build an infrastructure to apply the population health pilot to all of Nevada’s approximately 2.8 million residents.

“We see this as an innovative approach to population health that will benefit Nevadans, and could serve as a model for other states,” 23andMe president Andy Page said in a statement. “It’s exciting to have Renown and DRI, leaders in health care and research, come together for a comprehensive study of this scale, and to see such a great application of our Genotyping Services for Research platform.”

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