23andMe launches Genotyping Services for Research grant program

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – October 19, 2016 – 23andMe, Inc. today announced a grant program as part of its Genotyping Services for Research platform. The program aims to accelerate research studies and elicit proposals in which the 23andMe experience is likely to help facilitate participant recruitment and enhance engagement.

Proposals will be selected based on scientific significance, approach, feasibility, investigator expertise, innovativeness of the project and inclusion of the evaluation of the impact of return of genetic information on participant engagement. Educational institutions, universities and research centers performing genomics research in the United States are eligible.

Two proposals will be selected from among the program submissions; each will receive 200 23andMe DNA Collection kits for their prospective genotyping study. Beginning today, interested researchers can apply to the grant program at the following http://researchers.23andme.org/grant-program.

"At 23andMe our model is to treat research participants as true partners," said Ruby Gadelrab, 23andMe vice president of commercial marketing. "We find that study participants are much more engaged when they have the opportunity to learn about their personal genetic information, and this makes recruitment for research studies much easier."

The announcement of the grant program is part of a major company presence at the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) Annual Meeting, the world's largest gathering of human genetics researchers, this week in Vancouver. The company is presenting insights on the landmark population health study its powering in collaboration with Nevada-based health system Renown Health and the Desert Research Institute (DRI), which recruited more than 10,000 study volunteers in less than 48 hours. The study's principal investigator, Joe Grzymski, Ph.D., from DRI will be sharing information on the study and insights gleaned in the recruiting process.

The presentation will headline 23andMe's educational seminar, New Models in Genotyping: Incentivizing Recruitment, Engaging Participants and Accelerating Research Results. The seminar takes place Thursday, Oct. 20 from 1:00-2:30 p.m. in Ballroom B, East Building, Vancouver Convention Centre. Following is a full list of seminar topics:

  • How the consumerization of genomics benefits research
    Joyce Tung, Ph.D., VP of research, 23andMe
  • An integrated community health pilot study using 23andMe Genotyping Services for Research: how to rapidly recruit 10,000 participants.
    Joe Grzymski, Ph.D., Senior Director, Applied Innovation Center; Associate Research Professor, Computational Biology and Microbiology – Desert Research Institute
  • Studying impulsivity, alcoholism and loneliness using in person and internet-based phenotyping
    Abraham Palmer, Ph.D., Professor & Vice Chair for Basic Research, Department of Psychiatry – University of California San Diego
  • Studying multiple sclerosis patients at home using genotyping, MR imaging and phenotypic data collection from the myMS app
    Daniel Pelletier, Ph.D., Vice Chair of Research, Department of Neurology; Professor of Neurology and Radiology; Chief, Neuro-Immunology Division and USC Multiple Sclerosis Center; Director, Advanced Imaging in Multiple Sclerosis (AIMS) Laboratory; Keck School of Medicine — USC
  • Reimagining genetic studies: Genotyping Services for Research
    Robert Borkowski, Ph.D., product manager, 23andMe

In addition, Richard Scheller, Ph.D., 23andMe chief science officer and head of therapeutics, is speaking today, Wednesday, Oct. 19, on the topic From GWAS and Mendelian Genes to Therapeutic Drug Targets.

23andMe scientists also have a number of scheduled platform and poster presentations on topics ranging from nail biting to body mass index (BMI).


  • Genome- and phenome-wide study of "nail biting:" Not just a habit
    • Saturday, Oct. 22, 9-10 a.m.
    • Chao Tian, Ph.D., 23andMe senior statistical geneticist
    • Room 221, West Building, Vancouver Convention Centre

23andMe posters (on display throughout conference):

  • Efficient calculation of genetic correlations across 700,000 pairs of diverse phenotypes
  • Generalized polygenic risk prediction for non-medical traits in a direct-to-consumer setting
  • Genetic variation underlying self-reported weight-loss success in the presence of a dietary intervention
  • GWASs of ability to carry a musical tune and mathematical educational attainment
  • Interrogating gene-by-environment interactions using genetic risk scores
  • Leveraging PheWAS in fine-mapping complex trait GWAS loci
  • Phenome-wide association study of 28 variants associated with Parkinson's disease in a web-based cohort
  • The genetics of levodopa-induced dyskinesia in Parkinson's disease
  • The impact of personal experience with direct-to-consumer genetic testing on physician readiness

There are also a number of presentations and posters by 23andMe collaborators.

Platform presentations:

  • Assessment of the genetic basis of rosacea severity by genome-wide association study and expression analysis highlights immuno-inflammation and skin pigmentation as key mechanisms
  • Genome-wide meta-analysis of polycystic ovary syndrome in women of European ancestry identifies novel loci
  • Large-scale genomic analyses identify one fifth of the heritable component of puberty timing and evidence for widespread non-linear effects


  • A multi-stage genome-wide association study of uterine fibroids in African Americans
  • Correcting subtle stratification in summary association statistics
  • Identifying genetic modifiers of age at diagnosis in Parkinson disease – A 23andMe study
  • LD-dependent architecture of human complex traits reveals action of negative selection
  • The SHARE study: meta-analysis of GWAS including 260,000 individuals identifies 40 new loci for allergic disease


About 23andMe

23andMe, Inc. is the leading personal genetics company. Founded in 2006, the mission of the company is to help people access, understand and benefit from the human genome. 23andMe has more than one million customers worldwide, with over 80 percent consented to participate in research. 23andMe, Inc. is located in Mountain View, CA. More information is available at http://www.23andMe.com.

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