Large-Scale Initiative Seeks to Improve Health Outcomes, Advance Innovative Research Using Genetics

In Sept. 2021, MUSC and Helix announced a strategic collaboration to develop a first-of-its-kind population genomics initiative in South Carolina called In Our DNA SC. The program is designed to improve health care outcomes by integrating genetic insights into clinical care and research. Advances in genetic medicine make it easier than ever to screen your DNA and detect risks for many common diseases and conditions.

Daniel P. Judge, M.D.The statewide initiative aims to enroll 100,000 of South Carolina’s 5 million residents in genetic testing over the next four years in hopes of better understanding how DNA influences health. It may also help improve access to personalized health care and support new research discoveries for our community. Researchers also want to recruit participants who reflect the diversity of the state’s population. The program will enable the use of genomic insights with an initial focus on actionable information regarding a patient’s risk for certain forms of cancer and cardiovascular disease. This initiative is being led by principal investigator Daniel Judge, M.D., who is a professor of medicine and a translational scientist in the Division of Cardiology at MUSC who specializes in inherited cardiovascular disorders.