Centers for Mendelian Genomics (CMG)

National Human Genome Research Institute

National Institutes of Health
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Centers for Mendelian Genomics (CMG)

Illustration with a DNA double helix and letters of A G T C

Program Rationale

Discovering the genes and genetic variants underlying human Mendelian disorders is of significant biomedical relevance.  The knowledge of those variants, which are rare and highly penetrant, will facilitate rapid and accurate diagnosis of Mendelian disorders and might lead to new therapeutic approaches.  This knowledge can also lead to insight about the common or more complex phenotypes that involve similar genes, pathways, and phenotypes.  In the long run, a comprehensive collection of rare and highly penetrant variants would be a highly valuable resource for understanding basic human genetics and would identify entry points into fundamental developmental and physiological pathways.

While the genetic basis of more than 3000 Mendelian disorders has been determined so far, the genetic basis remains to be determined for a larger number of confirmed or suspected Mendelian disorders. Recent advances in genome technology and computational methods have made it possible to identify the genetic basis of Mendelian disorders using genome-wide approaches in a more rapid and cost-effective way than linkage mapping and candidate gene approaches.

The Mendelian Disorders Genome Centers Program aims to contribute to the discovery of the genetic basis of most Mendelian disorders in two main ways.  The first is to use genome-wide sequencing and other genomic approaches to discover the genetic basis underlying as many disorders and health-related traits as possible, spanning the various Mendelian inheritance patterns, during the funding period.  The second is to build a better foundation for elucidating the genetic basis of Mendelian disorders by 1) establishing and disseminating information about effective approaches to the identification of the causative genetic variants, and gaining insight about the overall tractability of Mendelian disorders to state-of-the-art genomic approaches, and 2) compiling a comprehensive list of available human samples of Mendelian disorders and other health-related Mendelian traits as a public resource to help coordinate genetic variant discovery activities that will be carried out by many groups.

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Grantees of the Program

The currently funded centers are:

Please visit www.mendelian.org to learn more about these centers.

The Large-Scale Genome Sequencing and Analysis Centers also carry out efforts to discover the genetic basis of Mendelian disorders (see above).

If you wish to provide samples with confirmed or suspected Mendelian disorders or traits for the Mendelian Disorders Genome Centers to study, please contact the Coordination Center of the Program at gmendel@mendelian.org. The Program will decide on the feasibility and priority of sequencing these samples.

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Program Contacts

For general inquiries about the program, please contact:

Lu Wang, Ph.D.
Program Director
E-mail: wanglu@mail.nih.gov

If you wish to provide samples with confirmed or suspected Mendelian disorders or traits for the Mendelian Disorders Genome Centers to study, please contact the Coordination Site of the Program at gmendel@mendelian.org. The Program will decide on the feasibility and priority of sequencing these samples.

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Last Updated: December 12, 2012
Posted: December 6, 2011