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The Genes, Environment and Health Initiative (GEI)


The Genes, Environment and Health Initiative (GEI) was announced in February 2006 to support research that will lead to the understanding of genetic contributions and gene-environment interactions in common disease. GEI is planned and led by an NIH-wide Coordinating Committee, administratively led by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS).

Implementation of GEI began with a Genome-Wide Association Study (GWAS) component that comprises three elements:

The GWA component of GEI is administratively led by NHGRI on behalf of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Curated data will be made available through a controlled-access process in a central database established by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) for research use (dbGaP).

More information about the awards made in 2007 may be found in: Genes, Environment and Health Initiative Invests in Genetic Studies, Environmental Monitoring Technologies []

  1. Genotyping facilities to perform high-throughput genotyping for GWA studies over four years. (RFA HG-06-014 [])
  2. A Coordinating Center (CC) to provide analytic support, data quality assessment and quality control, and logistical management of the GWA program. (RFA HG-06-032 [])
  3. Investigative groups to submit samples from well-characterized subjects for GWA genotyping and/or replication studies, and to analyze the resulting data. RFA HG-06-033 [] and RFA HG-07-012 [])

One of the initial decisions of the NIH-wide Coordinating Committee was that the genetic component of GEI should not be limited only to the collection of GWA genotype data. In this way, the GEI genetics component differs from the Genetic Association Information Network (GAIN). Support for data analysis, replication and fine mapping studies, sequencing, functional studies, database development and clinical translation are all included within GEI.

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Meetings and Workshops

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Other Aspects of the GEI Genetics Program

Requests for Applications

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Genetics Resources

The Genes, Environment and Health Initiative (GEI) is an NIH-wide initiative that aims to accelerate understanding of genetic and environmental contributions to health and disease. There are two components to GEI: genetics and exposure biology. The genetics component includes a genome-wide association program called GENEVA (Gene Environment Association Studies).

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Coordinating Committee Co-Chairs

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Genetic Subcommittee Working Groups

  • Genome Wide Association Genotyping
  • Data Analysis
  • Replication & Fine Mapping
  • Sequencing
    • Adam Felsenfeld, NHGRI (Chair)


  • Functional Studies
    • Joni Rutter, NIDA (Chair)
      Danilo Tagle, NINDS (Co-chair)


  • Translational Research

    Paul Kimmel, NIDDK [] (Chair)
    Rebekah Rasooly, NIDDK (Co-chair)

  • Database
    • Steve Sherry, NLM/NCBI (Chair)
      Jim Ostell, NLM/NCBI (Co-chair)


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Last Updated: July 1, 2014

See Also:

Two NIH Initiatives Launch Intensive Efforts to Determine Genetic and Environmental Roots of Common Diseases
Press Release
February 8, 2006