The Personal Genome Project (PGP) is a public genomics research study based at Harvard Medical School. A major goal of the study is to improve our understanding of genetic and environmental contributions to human traits.
The PGP enrolls volunteers who are willing to share their genome sequence, and other personal information such as health and medical data with the scientific community and the general public. To better understand what this looks like in practice, you should review the profile pages of PGP volunteers.
Participants in the PGP also have the option of donating tissue specimens, such as blood and saliva. Tissue specimens submitted to the PGP may be studied by researchers in a variety of ways, such as the study of biological characteristics, including DNA, RNA (gene expression), and the presence and characteristics of micro-organisms and viruses in the specimen. Some tissues specimens may be used to create of cell lines, which are cells with the ability to divide for indefinite periods and to give rise to specialized cells; and transformation into somatic cell-derived stem cells (i.e., induced pluripotent stem cells or iPS cells).
Prospective participants should familiarize themselves with all aspects of the Personal Genome Project (PGP), including eligibility criteria, risks and study protocols as outlined in the consent forms and throughout this website.
Participants are unlikely to personally benefit from participation in the PGP. Furthermore, the public nature of the PGP means that this study is not suitable for everyone.
The following resources will help you make a thoughtful decision about whether to volunteer for this study being conducted by researchers at Harvard Medical School.
(1) Consent Forms: During the enrollment process, prospective participants will be asked to read, review, and electronically sign two different consent forms (1) the "mini-consent" for eligibility screening procedures and (2) the full consent for enrollment and ongoing participation. You should carefully read and review these consent forms. Read now.
(2) PGP Study Guide: We have developed a study guide for prospective PGP volunteers. These materials are designed to help participants learn concepts relevant to passing the PGP entrance exam. Go to the study guide PDF.
(3) PGP Public Profiles: The public profile pages for enrolled participants in the PGP can be reviewed online. After reviewing these profile pages, you should contemplate whether you are comfortable making your genetic and trait data publicly available as well.
(4) Family History: We encourage you to participate in the U.S. Surgeon General's Family Health Portrait to increase the awareness of you and your family about the genetics that we may be exploring in the PGP.
If you are interested in becoming a participant in the PGP, please sign-up now.
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