Illumina's Understand Your Genome Program: Incorporating Whole Genome Sequencing into the Clinic

This post is from Illumina, a sponsor of our spotlight on whole genome sequencing

As the cost of whole genome sequencing drops rapidly, some researchers and medical professionals are excited to learn about how this technology can be incorporated in the field of medicine and medical research.  Research in genetics and genomic sequencing is developing rapidly, and Illumina inc, has developed an educational program for doctors and other medical professionals to help them learn about the newest ways whole genome sequencing can be incorporated into medicine and medical research.

Illumina designs and manufactures technologies used in research of life sciences, including machines that can sequence genomes of humans and other living things like plants and other animals. They work to advance personalized medicine by developing technologies that medical professionals can use to put the latest research into action. Illumina’s Understand Your Genome (UYG) Program is a two-day conference that explores the best practices for using the newest whole genome sequencing methods in medical practice. The program is open to anyone, but is most applicable for professionals and researchers that specialize in the different facets of genetics, be it primary, preventive, or specialty medical care, patient advocacy, or the study of ethics.

The Understand Your Genome Program walks the attendees through the process of using whole genome sequencing in a clinical setting.  A participant either has his or her own genome sequenced or the genome of another consenting individual.  The sequencing is done using the latest sequencing technologies provided by Illumina, and the information is uploaded to the Illumina MyGenome iPad app.  Through this app, the participant is provided with a corresponding report on a range of diseases, conditions, and traits. The full list of conditions for which the program can provide a report is extensive, and participants can request that their results be modified to exclude any of the options.

The UYG conference also includes two days of extensive discussion about the use of whole genome sequencing in clinical care.  Topics discussed include,

  • Introducing whole-genome sequencing into clinical care
  • Understanding when to use Next Generation Sequencing (the newest whole genome sequencing methods)
  • Interpreting and reporting whole genome sequencing results
  • Communicating whole genome sequencing results to patients
  • Ethical considerations related to whole genome sequencing and next generation sequencing
  • Medical practice and legal implications
  • MyGenome app overview and discussion