Two related initiatives that seek to identify causes for a variety of common diseases were announced in early 2006. The first, led by the National Institutes of Health, is a project called the Genes and Environment Initiative (GEI). GEI has two components: the analysis of genetic variation among people with specific diseases and an effort to develop technology that will find new ways to monitor environmental exposures that interact with genetic variations leading to disease. The specific diseases that GEI will focus on will be decided by peer review.
The second initiative is a public/private partnership called Genetic Association Information Network (GAIN). GAIN was launched with a donation from Pfizer Global Research & Development, New London, CT that seeks to determine the genetic contributions to five common diseases. Affymetrix Inc. of Santa Clara, CA develops the type of technology used for these studies. They have contributed sufficient laboratory resources to study an additional two common diseases. The hope is that by working together, public and private scientists can make progress faster than either could working by themselves.
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Last Reviewed: August 15, 2013