UI team joins genetics challenge

UI team joins genetics challenge

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International competition seeks causes for three families' medical problems

A University of Iowa team of 30 researchers from four different colleges on campus is competing against 29 other teams from around the world to interpret complete DNA sequences from three different families in an effort to determine the medical problems each family faces.

The goal of the contest, led by Boston Children’s Hospital, is to establish "best practices" for interpreting genomic data, an important initiative as “personalized” genomic medicine becomes more common.

Participants in the competition, known as the CLARITY challenge, range from small biotech startups to the National Institutes of Health, with teams based in the United States, Canada, China, India, Israel, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, and Sweden.

The winner of the challenge will be announced in late October and receive a $25,000 prize in November at the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics in San Francisco.

Of the three families, two have children affected by a neuromuscular disorder. In the third family, the child has a cardiovascular abnormality. Previous attempts to determine the causes of the medical problems facing these families have proven unsuccessful.

Full information about the Challenge is available online at www.childrenshospital.org/CLARITY.

Contacts

Tom Moore, UI Health Care Marketing and Communications, 319-356-3945

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