As director of the Genomes2Veterans research program at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Boston Healthcare System, Jason Vassy, MD, MPH, SM, bridges the expertise of Genomes2People and the mission of bringing 21st century medical care to Veterans.
Current Genomes2Veterans research projects:
Integrating Pharmacogenetics in Clinical Care (I-PICC) Study
Funding: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Research & Development IK2-CX001262
Project Manager: Charles Brunette, PhD
The I-PICC Study is a pragmatic randomized controlled trial of pharmacogenetic testing for statin myopathy risk in the eight primary care practices across VA Boston. Statin-naïve patients at higher risk for cardiovascular disease are randomly assigned at the point-of-care to have their primary care providers receive their SLCO1B1 genotype results at baseline or at the end of the study. Patients are followed in the electronic health record for 12 months for outcomes including cholesterol levels, statin-associated muscle symptoms, and concordance with cardiovascular disease and pharmacogenetic prescribing guidelines.
For more detailed information about the I-PICC Project, including study design and outcome measures, visit our clinical trial page:
The GenoVA Study: Pragmatic Randomized Trial of Polygenic Risk Scoring for Common Diseases in Primary Care
Funding: NIH, National Human Genome Research Institute 1 R35 HG010706-01
Project Manager: Ashley Antwi, MPH, CHES
The GenoVA Study is a pragmatic randomized controlled trial in which primary care patients without a known diagnosis of any one of 6 target diseases (coronary artery disease, atrial fibrillation, type 2 diabetes mellitus, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer) will undergo clinical genotype testing to calculate their polygenic risk scores (PRS) for these 6 diseases. Patient-participants (including those with at least one PRS indicating high-risk (odds ratio, ORPRS, > 2) and those with no PRS indicating high-risk), will be randomized to have them and their primary care provider receive their PRS results at baseline or after a 24-month observation period, reported along with evidence-based screening and management recommendations. All patients will be observed for 24 months for the primary clinical outcome of time-to-diagnosis of any of the 6 target diseases.
Funding: Denny Sanford and Sanford Health
Project Coordinators: Ashley Antwi, MPH, CHES; Mark Cardellino, MS
VA Boston is currently one of the first VA sites across the country participating in the PHASER program, a clinical implementation program and precision health initiative that provides preemptive pharmacogenomic (PGx) testing to current VA patients. The purpose of the program is to improve Veteran patients’ access to appropriate treatments and reduce adverse drug reactions.
To learn more about the PHASER program, visit our program page:
Million Veteran Program – Return of Actionable Results (MVP-ROAR) Study
Funding: VA Office of Research and Development
Project Manager: Morgan Danowski, MS, CGC
The Million Veteran Program – Return of Actionable Results (MVP-ROAR) Study is a randomized controlled trial of immediate vs. delayed (after 6 months) return of medically actionable, clinically confirmed genetic testing results. The purpose of the study is to develop a process to return results to living MVP participants nationwide and to determine the impact of doing so on medical management and outcomes and Veteran quality of life.
For more detailed information about the MVP-ROAR Study, including study design and outcome measures, visit our clinical trial page:
VA is a participating organization in the All of Us Research Program, which is inviting one million people across the U.S. to one of the most diverse health databases in history.
For more detailed information about the VA All of Us Research Program, please visit our program page:
Genomes2Veterans research team:
Ashley Antwi, MPH, CHES
Charles Brunette, PhD
Mark Cardellino, MS
Morgan Danowski, MS, CGC
Fabian Lako, M.Sc., LLM
Katherine MacIsaac, MPH
Jason Vassy, MD, MPH, SM
Thomas Yi, MS
The G2V Research Trainee Program
Genomes2Veterans (G2V) is a translational genomics research program focused on the implementation of genomics innovations into the routine practice of medicine, including pharmacogenomic testing, polygenic risk scores, and the return of genetic results to research participants in a national biobank.
Opportunities exist for undergraduate students, graduate students, medical students, pharmacy students, postdoctoral fellows, and recent graduates to contribute to and expand high-profile clinical research studies and implementation projects that are re-shaping the way genomics is being integrated into clinical care at the VA.
Trainees work with Dr. Jason Vassy and the entire G2V Team to observe clinical research activities and implementation projects, as well as conduct independent projects that build skills and advance their career goals.
If you are interested in pursuing a research opportunity with us, please complete our G2V Trainee Interest Form.
For Genomes2Veterans scientific papers and media coverage, visit the link below.