In 2007, the Genetic Association Information Network (GAIN) completed an ambitious program to genotype existing research studies in six major common diseases, and combine the results with clinical data to create a significant new resource for genetic researchers. The network’s goal was to help find genetic causes for common diseases, and its initial efforts focused on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, diabetic nepropathy in Type I diabetes, major depression, psoriasis, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The resulting data were deposited in a database within the National Library of Medicine at NIH (dbGaP) funded by GAIN, for broad use by the research community. By comparing the genetic makeup of healthy people with that of people with the disease, scientists should be better able to target diagnosis, treatment, and prevention strategies.
Originators of the initial studies received additional grants to make their own genome-wide association analyses. Managed by the FNIH, GAIN combined the resources and expertise of several public and private entities to streamline the genetic research process. The program’s protocols for protecting participant privacy and confidentiality have served as a model for similar studies across the scientific community. The FNIH raised $26 million for the network in cash and in-kind resources, primarily from Pfizer, Inc. Affymetrix, Inc., Perlegen Sciences, and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT.