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VA Researching for You

Genomics

Heredity is transmitted from your parents through DNA. A gene is a region of DNA that contains instructions to make RNA molecules that code for other proteins. When genes are transmitted through the process of reproduction, they govern inheritance of genetic traits like hair color or blood type.

The Human Genome Project (HGP) was an international research effort to sequence and map all human genes, which are together known as the genome. The HGP's completion in 2003 gave scientists the ability, for the first time, to read nature's complete genetic blueprint for the human organism.

VA’s Major Genomics Accomplishments:

• 2006: Launched a genomic medicine initiative to advance knowledge of how genes affect health and to promote personalized medicine for Veterans
• 2007: Established a laboratory in Little Rock, Arkansas, to conduct diagnostic or treatment-related genetic tests for Veterans
• 2011: Launched the Million Veteran Program (MVP) to establish one of the world's largest databases of health and genetic information
• 2014: Found that an alteration in a common gene could help predict how well patients with lung cancer respond to chemotherapy

Learn more..

Below is a news story that illustrates VA’s commitment to advancing technology and research initiatives to benefit our nation’s Veterans.

Pictured: Dr. Sara Knight studies genomics and personalized medicine, among other areas, at the VA Salt Lake City Health Care System and the University of Utah. (Photo by Tod Peterson) Dr. Sara Knight studies genomics and personalized medicine, among other areas, at the VA Salt Lake City Health Care System and the University of Utah. (Photo by Tod Peterson)

Researchers explore Vet preferences for receiving results from genetic tests

In recent years, VA has become quite active in studying genomics, the structure, function, editing, and mapping of genes. The agency is now funding more than 100 studies on genetics and its relation to health and diseases.

One of VA’s most ambitious genomic endeavors is the Million Veteran Program (MVP). Vets enrolled in the program provide blood samples to allow for analysis of their genes and give access to their medical records—all so scientists can pinpoint the role genes play in diseases and health. Genetic data of the more than 700,000 Veterans enrolled in MVP has been used to study such medical issues affecting Veterans as mental illness, heart disease, PTSD, and Gulf War illness.  Read more..

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