Autism Speaks and BGI to complete whole genome sequencing on 10,000 with autism

October 13, 2011

Autism Speaks, the world's largest autism science and advocacy organization, and BGI, the largest genomic organization in the world and a global leader in whole genome sequencing, jointly announce their partnership to create the world's largest library of sequenced genomes of individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Using the Autism Speaks Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE), this collaboration will perform whole genome sequencing on more than 2,000 participating families who have two or more children on the autism spectrum. The data from the 10,000 AGRE participants will enable new research in the genomics of ASD, and significantly enhance the science and technology networks of both Autism Speaks and BGI. In addition, Autism Speaks and BGI will collect and sequence genome samples from individuals in China.

"This collaboration will transform the field and greatly accelerate basic and translational research in autism and related ," stated Autism Speaks Vice President for Scientific Affairs Andy Shih, Ph.D. "This collection of sequenced genomes will facilitate new collaborations engaging researchers around the world, and enable public and private entities to pursue pivotal research."

The Autism Speaks BGI collaboration will be conducted over a two-year period. The initial pilot sequencing of 100 genomes will be directly funded by the Autism Speaks science portfolio. Additional funding will be secured from government, donors, and public and private sources.

"We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with Autism Speaks on this groundbreaking research project," stated Prof. Yang Huanming, Chairman of BGI. "Having sequenced more than 10,000 whole human genomes to date, and given our state-of-the-art sequencing and bioinformatics technologies, we are excited about the potential to have a meaningful impact on advancing new treatments for autism spectrum disorder."

"Piece by piece, we are discovering that can cause autism and we have learned from examples involving single gene disorders associated with autism, such as Fragile X and Rett Syndrome, that genetic findings substantially increase our understanding of the underlying biology of autism," said Geraldine Dawson, Ph.D., Autism Speaks chief science officer. "Our ultimate goal is for the information we will gain from whole genome sequencing to contribute to the development of novel effective treatments to improve the lives of individuals impacted by autism."

Explore further: Mortality rate is increased in persons with autism who also have epilepsy

Related Stories

Mortality rate is increased in persons with autism who also have epilepsy

April 15, 2011
A comprehensive investigation of brain tissue donated to the Autism Speaks Autism Tissue Program (ATP), a postmortem brain tissue donation program, determined that one-third of the brain donors with autism also had epilepsy, ...

Risk of autism among younger siblings of a child with autism much greater than previously reported

August 15, 2011
Autism Speaks, the world's largest autism science and advocacy organization, joined in announcing significant findings from the largest known study of younger siblings of children who had a verified diagnosis of autism spectrum ...

Recommended for you

Scientists provide insight into genetic basis of neuropsychiatric disorders

July 21, 2017
A study by scientists at the Children's Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI) is providing insight into the genetic basis of neuropsychiatric disorders. In this research, the first mouse model of a mutation ...

Scientists identify new way cells turn off genes

July 19, 2017
Cells have more than one trick up their sleeve for controlling certain genes that regulate fetal growth and development.

South Asian genomes could be boon for disease research, scientists say

July 18, 2017
The Indian subcontinent's massive population is nearing 1.5 billion according to recent accounts. But that population is far from monolithic; it's made up of nearly 5,000 well-defined sub-groups, making the region one of ...

Mutant yeast reveals details of the aberrant genomic machinery of children's high-grade gliomas

July 18, 2017
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital biologists have used engineered yeast cells to discover how a mutation that is frequently found in pediatric brain tumor high-grade glioma triggers a cascade of genomic malfunctions.

Late-breaking mutations may play an important role in autism

July 17, 2017
A study of nearly 6,000 families, combining three genetic sequencing technologies, finds that mutations that occur after conception play an important role in autism. A team led by investigators at Boston Children's Hospital ...

Newly discovered gene variants link innate immunity and Alzheimer's disease

July 17, 2017
Three new gene variants, found in a genome wide association study of Alzheimer's disease (AD), point to the brain's immune cells in the onset of the disorder. These genes encode three proteins that are found in microglia, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.