The McDonnell Genome Institute (MGI) is a world leader in the fast-paced, constantly changing field of genomics.

The completion of the human genome was just the beginning of the search to understand our own genetic underpinnings. Since that time, researchers, including those at the McDonnell Genome Institute, have continued to scrutinize the human genome in many ways — from describing the structure and function of our sex chromosomes (X,Y) to deciphering the immense variation present among human and mammalian populations.

In 2008, the McDonnell Genome Institute became the first to sequence the complete genome of a cancer patient — a woman with leukemia — and to trace her disease to its genetic roots.

This research provided hope for oncologist, Dr. Wartman, as described in his own words.

As research has continued we have helped develop new treatments and therapies. The McDonnell Genome Institute is sequencing and analyzing genomes associated with diseases that affect populations around the world. 

Today this has included the fight against SARS-COV-2 and fighting the COVID-19 pandemic around the world.

As the McDonnell Genome Institute moves forward, we will continue to add to our story and the future of medicine. To learn more about our previous collaborations, see the list below.

Improving Diagnostic Success in Patients within the Undiagnosed Disease Network with Comprehensive Structural Variation Discovery Using Multiple Technologies


The Undiagnosed Diseases Network (UDN) Clinical Site at Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM) evaluates patients with undiagnosed medical diseases who have been on prolonged diagnostic odysseys using careful clinical phenotyping and short read Illumina whole-genome sequencing (WGS) with structural variant (SV) detection using Manta.

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Center for Common Disease Genomics

CCDGCollaborative large-scale genome sequencing effort comprehensively identifying rare risk and protective variants that contribute to common disease phenotypes

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CIViC: Clinical Interpretations of Variants in Cancer

An open access, open source, community-driven web resource with the goal of enabling cancer precision medicine

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Detail molecular profiling of neurodegenerative diseases and precision medicine

Neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD) or Parkinson’s Disease (PD) are complex polygenic diseases with genetic, cellular, pathologic, and clinical heterogeneity.

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DGIdb: Drug Gene Interaction Database

User-friendly database with information on drug-gene interactions

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GRC: Genome Reference Consortium

Improving the sequence quality and accuracy of the human reference genome

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Human Genome Project

As part of this national effort to decode the human genome, the McDonnell Genome Institute contributed more than 20% of the draft sequence

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Human Microbiome

The McDonnell Genome Institute helped to characterize the body’s microbial communities, or microbiome

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Pediatric Cancer Genome Project

PCGPSt. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and MGI teamed up to decode the genomes of more than 600 childhood cancer patients

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Reference Genome Improvement

The McDonnell Genome Institute is committed to enhancing and diversifying human reference genomes.

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TCGA: The Cancer Genome Atlas

A comprehensive and coordinated effort to accelerate our understanding of the molecular basis of cancer

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TOPMed: Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine

Understanding the genetics underlying heart, lung, blood and sleep disorders, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

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