Institute for Genetic Medicine


To build a new infrastructure that will enable clinical investigation using rapid analysis of genomic data in the area of medical genetics

Anticipated Impact: 

Improved personalized medical care and disease prevention


Investigators at the Northwest Institute of Genetic Medicine will work to enhance cutting-edge research in the etiology, prevention, and treatment of common human disease and treatment outcomes. This will provide the framework to conduct translational genetics research. They will coalesce resources in human genetics at the basic, technological, and computational levels; identify and fill gaps in data availability and analysis; and provide staff and expertise to support and sustain the use of these resources. Their objective is to optimize these resources for use in translational studies aimed at developing new gene-based diagnostics, prevention strategies, and treatment plans. In the long term it is expected this team will identify a large number of disease-related biomarkers, each with a potential for development of new diagnostic and/or therapeutic agents. Forming a foundation for genetic discovery and associated improved personalized care, prevention, and better health outcomes will increase Washington State's research competitiveness and fuel the growth of related biotechnology companies.

See also:

Medical Genetics/Genomics

Grant Update

Principal Investigator:
Gail Jarvik
Grantee Organization:
University of Washington
Grant Title:
Institute for Genetic Medicine
Grant Cohort and Year:
2007 Innovative Programs to Advance Health Research (02)
Grant Period:
09/03/2008 - 09/02/2013 (Completed)
Grant Amount:
Collaborating Organizations:
Group Health Cooperative, Rosetta Inpharmatics LLC, and Children's Hospital & Regional Medical Center
The Northwest Institute of Genetic Medicine (NWIGM) began in 2008 with the mandate to grant support resources in 6 areas that foster young research investigators and support other more established investigators toward the aims of their research. This support, through a request for application (RFA) structure, can begin with human subjects regulatory (IRB) guidance, move through genetic sequencing and culminate in biostatistical evaluation of results. By September 2013, the RFA process has awarded 148 uses of support to 111 projects which encompasses 88 support awards for Research Coordination, 22 for Genomic Technologies, 31 for Biostatistics, 5 for Biomedical Informatics and 2 awards to access to the NWIGM Biorepository. NWIGM set up a Biorepository of human DNA samples for investigators to efficiently accesses samples matched to electronic medical records to explore genetic causes of human disease. All DNA samples are tied to phenotypes accessible through electronic medical records. 350 samples from the 2,073 total samples have completed genotyping selected to further increase the utility of the Biorepository. Additionally we completed exome chip sequencing on 2,056 samples in 2012. To date, Biorepository samples and data added to existing NIH funded research have proved fundamental in securing renewal funding for those studies. Currently, plans have begun to conduct pharmacogenetic analyses with results returned to participants and placed in their electronic medical records on up to 900 of the samples to be completed by 2013 or early 2014. NWIGM support has impacted over 250 investigators, over 350 genetic diseases, 52 Departments of the University of Washington, and 122 other institutions (both local and national). Outcomes of the NWIGM support have successfully contributed to obtained and pending NIH grant awards totaling over $1.21 billion in funds to the University of Washington and the state of Washington.

Impact in Washington

Location of LSDF Grantee
Locations of Collaborations/Areas of Impact

Legislative Districts:
11, 34, 36, 37, 43, 46, 48

Health Impacts

Medical Genetics/Genomics