has announced that it is collaborating with to develop the world's largest database of genomic information on individuals with autism and their family members.
To be spearheaded by the (AUT10K), the initiative aims to advance breakthroughs in the understanding, diagnosis, subtyping, and personalized treatment of autism spectrum disorder. Autism Speaks already manages the largest private collection of DNA samples related to ASD, the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE), which has been a strategic resource for the ASD research community for more than fifteen years. However, the significantly larger amount of data to be collected through the AUT10K program poses unique challenges in terms of storage, analysis, and remote access. To help address those challenges, data collected through the program will be stored on the Google Cloud platform and made available as an open resource to the autism research community.
Earlier this year, AUT10K received support totaling $5 million from a number of grantmakers, including the , and foundations. In addition, Steve Scherer, director of AUT10K and the Centre for Applied Genomics at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children, oversees $10 million in funding for genomic research, including contributions from Steven Wise, chair of the and $7.5 million from the Canadian federal government and the province of Ontario.
"The collaboration between a pioneering tech company and the foremost autism science organization has the potential to transform the autism research landscape in exceptional ways," said Scherer. "No other organization outside of major health institutions and academia has accomplished this much this quickly."