SAN FRANCISCO—On August 24, the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), announced that they will be offering free genome sequencing to all of their patients, according to a press release. All a part of a precision medicine initiative, UCSF will be hosting voluntary genome sequencing in order to gather what they argue will be one of the most diverse genome databases to ever exist.
UCSF Chief Genomics Officer Aleks Rajkovic, who is leading the new initiative stated in a press release,
“We need to be able to identify and respond to diseases much earlier than we are now using preventive therapies based on a deep understanding of disease biology. Central to that is having genetic data on a diverse spectrum of patient populations that can teach us how to keep everyone well rather than responding in crisis when they become ill.”
“It’s becoming clearer that medicine is not one-size-fits-all,” said a Web MD article on precision medicine.
Precision medicine is a customized medical model that uses genetic profiling to give people personalized treatment or prevention options against disease.
The new UCSF precision medicine initiative will also give volunteers access to their genetic ancestry reports for free. Along with what kinds of diseases or health issues patients may be predisposed to, according to their news release.
“Importantly, not only will clinically relevant results be returned to individual patients, but the data will also serve as a unique and invaluable resource to the research community as a whole,” said Keith Yamamoto director of UCSF Precision Medicine in a public statement.
The more volunteers they have the more diverse the gene database will be, thus providing more accurate information.
In their public statement, UCSF acknowledged that due to socio-economic reasons, the gene pool they develop is bound to be skewed and represent only a slice of the actual population. To ensure they get an accurate model they have partnered with Special Populations for Health Equity in Research and Education (SPHERE) Committee, to try and ensure equal access to the entire population.
To qualify, those interested must be UCSF patients. In addition to that, there is an age requirement that requires volunteers to be at least 18 years of age.
UCSF Health patients who are interested in volunteering are advised to visit the study’s site for more information.