NCKU engages in International Personal Genome Project to fight COVID-19
National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) is invited to partner with International Personal Genome Project (PGP) in studying on COVID-19. This study is seeking to identify genetic variants that may portend higher or lower risk for COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus. The PGP was initiated by George Church, professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School in 2005. The PGP Global Network is a federation of independently-run research projects, currently in the US, Canada, the UK, Austria, and Korea, with projects in other countries in process.
To meet the challenge of COVID-19, the PGP group recently launched a global collaboration project to use systems biology approach and machine learning analysis to identify the genetic signatures of individuals who are vulnerable to, resistant to, and capable of silently carrying and transmitting SARS-CoV-2/ COVID-19. The research team will use the PGP platform to compare the genomes, microbiomes, viromes, and immune systems of consenting individuals with extreme COVID-19 susceptibility and individuals that exhibit resistance.
The study could lead to insights about the diseases and provide guidance to determine who should take the greatest care to self-protect, which individuals should be prioritized for urgent care, which healthcare workers would be safer on the front-lines of care, and which asymptomatic individuals may need to be screened regularly for carrier status.