UCD and Genomics Medicine Ireland launch largest Irish study on genomics in health and fitness

Posted: September 12, 2017

  • Research will combine advanced scientific technology in genomics with detailed lifestyle information
  • New clinic has been established at the UCD Institute for Sport and Health to conduct the study
  • Recruitment of student, staff and local resident volunteers for study underway on campus

University College Dublin’s Institute for Sport and Health has partnered with Irish life-sciences company, Genomics Medicine Ireland Ltd (GMI), to launch Ireland’s first large-scale study into the role of genetics in fitness and health.

The research will combine advanced scientific technology in genomics – the study of all of a person’s genes – together with detailed lifestyle information.

The results will provide a comprehensive view of the potential genetic factors contributing to fitness and health.

A new clinic has been established in the UCD Institute for Sport and Health to conduct the study.

The GenoFit Research Study will be open to anyone aged 18 and older from the broader UCD Belfield campus community of approximately 30,000 people.

This community includes undergraduate and postgraduate students along with academic, research, administrative and support staff. Residents from the local community who visit the Belfield campus for various activities (sports and recreational) will also be invited to participate in the study.

Pictured on homepage: Pictured (l-r) a‌t UCD are Professor Colin Boreham, Director, UCD Institute for Sport and Health, Dr Sean Ennis, co-founder and CSO, Genomics Medicine Ireland and Director of UCD’s Academic Centre on Rare Diseases and Professor Giuseppe De Vito, Head, UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science (Image: Karl Hussey, Fennell Photography); and below, video clip gives a brief overview of what to expect if you decide to volunteer for a GMI research study

Volunteers who agree to take part will be given the full results of a mini-health check, including a DEXA scan that evaluates bone and muscle health.

Professor Giuseppe De Vito, Head, UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science, and Dean of Performance Science and Professor Colin Boreham, Director, UCD Institute for Sport and Health, will oversee the research.

“The identification of specific genetic factors that may protect an individual against the development of a particular health condition could allow the generation of targeted interventions to improve our health,” said Professor Giuseppe De Vito.

Recruitment of participants to the GenoFit Research Study is now underway on UCD’s Belfield campus.

Participants will be asked to give approximately one hour of their time to the study during which they will provide a blood sample, take a short fitness test and fill out a lifestyle questionnaire.

Dr Sean Ennis is co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Genomics Medicine Ireland and Director of UCD’s Academic Centre on Rare Diseases.

“The GenoFit study will allow us to gain a more detailed understanding of individual risk factors and how much of a role they play will help to develop and deliver more personalised health management,” he said.

For more information or to book an appointment, eligible volunteers should contact: GenoFit Research Study Clinic, UCD Institute for Sport and Health, m: + 353 87 113 2875, e: genofit@ucd.ie or w: www.genofit.ie.

By: Jamie Deasy, digital journalist, University Relations