Genomics Medicine Ireland (GMI), the recently-acquired Irish subsidiary of WuXi NextCode, said today it has opened a research clinic in Dublin’s City Centre hub, with the goal of advancing precision medicine research and discovery in Ireland.
The new research clinic will enable the expansion of Ireland’s first large-scale research study into the role of genetics on fitness and health. The GenoFit Research Study, launched in 2017 by GMI and University College Dublin (UCD)’s Institute for Sport and Health, combines analysis of detailed lifestyle information and advanced scientific technology in genomics, with the goal of providing a comprehensive view of potential genetic factors contributing to fitness and health.
That comprehensive view, according to GMI and UCD, may result in the identification of specific genetic factors that protect an individual against the development of a particular health condition—and could lead to the development of targeted treatments in the future.
The GenoFit research study has attracted more than 3,000 participants since its launch, GMI said.
“This new City Centre clinic will bring genomics to the people, making it much easier for the public to get involved in our studies,” GMI CEO Anne Jones, PhD, said in a statement. “More participants means richer data and better research results and this new clinic will help considerably in realizing our goal of participation from 1 in every 10 people in Ireland.”
GMI has committed to carrying out the sequencing of whole genomes from 400,000 volunteers, including patients with common and rare diseases. The sequencing effort is planned to be one the world’s largest whole genome sequencing programs—joining initiatives launched by 10 nations toward gathering, storing, and applying genomic data from at least 100,000 genomes.
At a ceremony marketing the opening of the new clinic, personal trainer and broadcaster Karl Henry noted that volunteers will also be assisting in genomic research studies that over time will aid in diagnosing and treating Irish patients with chronic illnesses.
“I love crunching the numbers behind our physiology, which is why it’s great to hear that everyone participating in GenoFit will receive feedback on key health metrics such as a DEXA scan for bone mineral density, blood sugar & blood pressure levels and BMI measurements at no cost,” said Henry, who is seen on Irish TV network RTE 1’s Operation Transformation, and writes a weekly health column published in The Irish Independent. “It’s a win-win for everyone. I’d encourage everyone to have a go, learn something new about themselves, and contribute to the future of the Irish healthcare system in the process.”
The opening of the new clinic comes more than a month after GMI and UCD launched a partnership to examine the relationship between genetic variation and human disease in up to 10% of the Irish population. The large-scale population research program stretches across more than 60 diseases, including multiple sclerosis, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
GMI’s new clinic is located in the Trinity Central building on Pearse Street, Dublin, adjacent to the Trinity College Biomedical Sciences Institute and Pearse Street train station.
“The new clinic looks fantastic, and its convenient location should encourage even more people to benefit from a free mini health and fitness test while also contributing to vital health research in Ireland,” added Prof. Giuseppe De Vito, PhD, MD, Head of the UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science, and Dean of Performance Science.