NLM Funds $1 Million Genomics Data Privacy Study

NLM has awarded a $1 million grant to researchers at Vanderbilt University and the University of Texas, Dallas, to help ensure the privacy of individual genomic profiles when they are included in a database. The researchers are analyzing how such enormous stores of date, which often originate from multiple organizations and research studies, can ultimately enable health care to be personalized to a patient’s genome without compromising the privacy of the individual whose information contributes to the database.

Although many experts agree that the greatest potential for genomics-related medical advances lies in the ability to analzye combined data, the need to protect individual privacy is one of the greatest challenges in building vast databases. The four-year, NLM-funded project
seeks to devise ways to securely collect, store, and analyze biomedical data without revealing individual records and compromising privacy.

The goal is to enable a centralized databank which scientists can access for analysis and administrators can monitor for privacy.