The Personal Genome Project (PGP) is creating a freely available scientific resource that brings together genomic, environmental and human trait data. These data are donated by volunteers enrolled in a PGP study from our global network. Initiated by George Church at Harvard Medical School in 2005, the PGP has pioneered ethical, legal, and technical aspects related to the creation of public resources involving highly identifiable data like human genomes.
We believe sharing is good for science and society. The PGP is dedicated to creating public resources that everyone can access. Privacy, confidentiality and anonymity are impossible to guarantee in a context like the PGP where public sharing of genetic data is an explicit goal. Therefore, the PGP collaborates with participants willing to waive expectations of privacy. This waiver is not for everyone, but the volunteers who join make a valuable and lasting contribution to science.
We love the people behind the data. Our project aims to maintain lifelong relationships with participants. We want to collaborate on tracking health and other traits as they unfold over the course of a participant’s life. We also want to better understand the benefits and risks related to accessing and sharing extensive genomic and other personal data.
The genome is just a part of the story: genes interact with the environment to form traits. Participants may choose to contribute other public data to build public records of their health and traits. We also try to connect participants with research projects interested in profiling other aspects of human experience to produce even more extensive collections of associated data.