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How does TOPMed improve scientific understanding?

Advancing disease treatments through the TOPMed ACC

Sequencing data of genome analysis and a glowing particle molecular structure on black background.

Challenge

Precision medicine is an emerging approach to disease prevention and treatment that considers the unique genes and environment of each patient. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s (NHLBI’s) precision medicine initiative seeks to generate scientific resources that will advance precision medicine in the prevention and treatment of heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders. To that end, the Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine program, known as TOPMed and launched by NHLBI in 2014, generates whole genome sequencing and other omics data and integrates these data with other available molecular, behavioral, imaging, environmental, and clinical data.

Westat serves as the Administrative Coordinating Center (ACC) for the TOPMed program, which includes over 1,400 investigators, 35 active working groups and committees, 12 sequencing centers, an Informatics Resource Core (IRC), and a Data Management Core (DMC).

Solution

As the TOPMed ACC, Westat supports NHLBI’s precision medicine initiative through program coordination, scientific consultation, support for analysis and publications, and website upgrades and maintenance. Westat oversaw the transition of the TOPMed website, established clear communication channels between the ACC, NHLBI, and the TOPMed committees and working groups, and monitors program progress. Westat hosted the 2023 annual meeting for the TOPMed scientific community at the Westat campus. The ACC ensures that the TOPMed scientific community has access to and input from executive scientific advisors within the governance structure, as well as access to technical assistance from experts across a variety of relevant topic areas.

Additionally, Westat maintains resources to assist investigators with paper proposals, coordination, and ensuring end-product publications, keeping the manuscript pipeline moving efficiently with well over 500 paper proposals generated to date. The ACC also supports analysis by administering awards to early-stage investigators to use TOPMed data and further the goals of the TOPMed program.

Finally, Westat is providing NHLBI with a robust, Drupal-based TOPMed ACC website. In maintaining the public- and private-facing TOPMed website, Westat offers both technical and functional expertise to provide impactful solutions that resonate with stakeholders. We are also in the process of redesigning and modernizing the TOPMed website.

Results

As the ACC, Westat provides the organizational framework for administrative support to the TOPMed research community. In this role, Westat is facilitating NHLBI’s precision medicine initiative aimed at seeking treatments for heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders that are tailored to individuals’ unique genes and environment.  

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