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NHLBI TOPMed: The Genetic Epidemiology of Asthma in Costa Rica

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This administrative supplement to the project, "The Genetic Epidemiology of Asthma in Costa Rica" (R37 HL066289) is in response to NOT-HL-14-029 to perform whole genome sequencing (WGS) on existing NHLBI populations. We focus on asthma because of its public health significance. Asthma affects 26 million U.S. children and adults, remains a major cause of morbidity (one-half million hospitalizations a year) and is the most common cause of school and work days lost. Asthma-related costs are estimated to be over $12.7 billion annually. The Asthma Probands for both the extended pedigrees and the trios utilized in this study were selected on the basis of a physician diagnosis of asthma; a history of recurrent asthma attacks or at least 2 respiratory symptoms; and either airway hyperresponsiveness to methacholine or significant response to bronchodilator (Albuterol) administration. These criteria are identical to the criteria used in the Childhood Asthma Management Program (CAMP).

The three primary goals of this project are to: (1) identify common and rare genetic variants that determine asthma and its associated phenotypes (height, weight, IgE level, lung function, bronchodilator response, steroid treatment response) through whole genome sequencing (WGS); (2) perform novel family based association analysis of our WGS data to identify novel genes for asthma; and (3) integrate epigenomic and transcriptomic data with our WGS data and determine the epistatic interactions present using systems genomics approaches. Identification of the molecular determinants of asthma remains an important priority in translational science. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have been successful in this regard, identifying at least 10 novel susceptibility genes for asthma. However, as with most complex traits, the variants identified by GWAS explain only a fraction of the estimated heritability of this disorder. Herein, we propose a novel family-based study design and state-of-the-art genome sequencing techniques to map a set of sequence variants for asthma and its associated phenotypes and assess the interrelationships of the identified genes and variants using systems genomics methods. We have assembled a team of investigators highly-skilled and expert in whole genome sequencing (Drs. Michael Cho and Benjamin Raby), genetic association analysis (Drs. Scott T. Weiss, Jessica Lasky-Su and Christoph Lange), integrative genomics (Drs. Raby, Kelan Tantisira, Augusto Litonjua and Dawn DeMeo), and systems genomics (Drs. Weiss, Amitabh Sharma, Lange and Raby) to address this important problem with both a novel study design and data set.


Focus / DiseasesAsthma
Study DesignFamily/Twin/Trios
Data TypesDe-novo Mutations (NGS), SNP/CNV Genotypes (NGS), WGS

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