November 19, 2019

AGHI gains increasing interest from public with south Alabama visit

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In late October, the Alabama Genomic Health Initiative (AGHI) partnered with Infirmary Health to provide valuable information to volunteer-participants in Mobile and Baldwin counties. At the event, AGHI enrolled 332 participants over the course of three days.

The AGHI is a research program funded by the state of Alabama. Participants in the program are assessed for genetic risks associated with cancer, cardiovascular disease, metabolic conditions, and connective tissue disorders. Participants can elect to receive a report of findings and can choose to share results with their medical provider and participate in a UAB biobank and data repository.

Expanding the AGHI around Alabama has been one of the program’s main goals. So far, the AGHI team has enrolled participants from all 67 Alabama counties, with the Mobile and Baldwin Infirmary Health week being the most recent effort to increase enrollment in south Alabama. After the south Alabama visit, Renie Moss, AGHI Program Director stated: “To date, 92% participants in the AGHI have consented to share their data so that future researchers have the ability to develop better predictions, understandings, and treatments for disease. We are thankful to have such a strong number of participants from south Alabama be a part of the AGHI biobank and databank thanks to Infirmary Health.”

As year three of the AGHI comes to an end, enrollment goals continue to be met. Below are the most recent AGHI statistics:

  • 5,523 participants (genotyping of the general population in Alabama)
  • Participants have enrolled from all 67 counties in Alabama
  • 77 actionable results returned, each representing genetic risks for disease for which action can be taken towards prevention or treatment.
  • 92% consent to biobank and share data with researchers
  • 46% consent to share results with provider
  • 504 total whole genome participants representing 205 total families enrolled (whole genome sequencing is a smaller participant cohort of the AGHI requiring medical referral due to undiagnosed disease)
  • 97 results returned representing 41.23% return rate (whole genome sequencing participants)

"The AGHI is generating a wealth of data for researchers to use in identifying genetic factors that may increase a person’s chance of developing either rare or common disorders," says Bruce R. Korf, M.D., Ph.D., associate dean for Genomic Medicine and Chief Genomics Officer. "This could potentially lead to the development of new approaches for preventing, diagnosing, and treating disease for residents in the State of Alabama and elsewhere."

To learn more about the Alabama Genomic Health Initiative, visit