ISR Awards

Creating a Genetics Resource with the Health and Retirement Study

This project aims to create a new resource based on rich phenotypic data and a substantial repository of genetic material on 16,000 participants in a major multi-disciplinary public-use longitudinal study of aging. The Health and Retirement Study (HRS), begun in 1992, sets the standard for data-sharing and dissemination, with over 1,000 publications by over 1,000 different authors and co-authors. Its rich measurement across domains of health, psychological characteristics, social networks, and economic status and behavior creates an unparalleled body of phenotypic data observed over time that can now be paired with a rich genotypic characterization using an Illumina chip covering over a million SNPs. Valuable as a replication sample for many established GWA studies, this resource, building on a study already widely known in behavioral aging research, will revolutionize research on behavioral science as one of the first large-scale studies to combine genetics with behavioral phenotypes, creating a platform for discovery.

Specifically, this project seeks resource access to conduct genotyping through the Center for Inherited Disease Research (CIDR) on approximately 16,000 samples derived from saliva; to make the genotype data available through dbGap with a limited array of phenotypes; to create a process for sharing genotype and broader phenotype data more widely in the research community; and to conduct a limited set of association studies with established phenotypes of cardiovascular health and cognition to demonstrate the potential of the data resource and serve as examples for future studies. The data and data-sharing mechanisms will be integrated into the ongoing HRS at the conclusion of this project.