NHGRI Analysis Visualization and Informatics Lab-space

Genomic Answers for Kids (GA4K)

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Identification of complex genetic variants including defects in gene regulatory circuits and uncharacterized genes present challenges for rare disease diagnosis. In Genomic Answers for Kids program we apply the joint interpretation of patient genome sequence with genomic endophenotypes to expand the clinically actionable genome among pediatric cases of suspected genetic disease. Our objective is to examine the role of novel and under-interpreted sequence variation by combining complete DNA sequences, personal epigenetic variations and massively parallel functional screens.

To achieve this we perform augmented whole genome sequence (WGS) interpretation including reanalysis of clinical exomes as well as generating WGS for patients with negative exome results all be subject to family-based semi-automated recall pipeline to discover missed diagnostic variation. We use linked-read and long-read sequencing technologies to focus on putative structural variants missed in short-read genome and exome analysis by the optimized integration of linked and long read technologies that also improve identification of transmission patterns of all variants, as well as resolving genomic regions resistant to standard alignment. We also include tissue DNA sequencing to investigate somatic mosaicism.

To further assist on WGS interpretation for uncommon variation we capture snapshots of patient transcriptomes and epigenomes in individual cells using single-cell RNA (scRNA) and sc open chromatin (scATAC) as well as bulk whole genome bisulphite genome sequencing for methylome interpretation. Alternative splicing is functionally assessed in available patient tissues using RNA-seq, including full length cDNA sequences by IsoSeq (PacBio) methodology.

Our overarching goal is an increase rate of diagnostic genomic findings up to two-fold among rare disease, resulting in the majority (>50%) of patient cases resolved by the integrated system developed in our program.


Consent Codes

DS-PEDD-IRB, Unspecified


Unspecified, pediatric disease

Study Design

Case only / Trio / Family, TBD

Data Types

Whole Genome - 10x Linked Reads, TBD, Whole Long-read Genome, Whole Genome - MGI short-read sequencing, Whole Long-read Genome Methylation, Whole Genome, RNA Seq. Long-read, Whole Exome, Genotyping Array