GCAT|Genomes for Life
GCAT|Genomes for Life is a biomedical genomics research project developed by the PMPPC-IGTP that focusses on the study of common diseases in the general population. These diseases such as; cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, respiratory, metabolic diseases, diabetes, or cancer affect a large part of the adult population causing a high rate of morbidity and representing an important sanitary cost due to improved healthcare and longer life expectancies.
GCAT: a unique project and valuable biomedical research resource
The GCAT integrates environmental factors, lifestyle habits and personal medical history with genomic factors to study, define and objectively measure the personal susceptibility to developing a specific disease and to determine the contributing factors. This will also help to define the best medical treatments. This way it will be possible to identify why some individuals develop a disease, while others do not, or why some respond to a treatment and others do not.
A prospective genomes study
The GCAT team aims to advance knowledge of common diseases to help implement more personalized and precise preventive, diagnostic, prognostic and treatment strategies. To this end it combines clinical data, biological samples and genomic data of a large cohort of the Catalan population. The GCAT vision is collective, multidisciplinary, open and public to responsibly and ethically expand, share and re-use the information generated at a national and international level in agreement with the FAIR criteria (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-usable).
Cohort data available for researchers
The GCAT Cohort created at the IMPPC-IGTP between 2014 and 2017 contains information about 20,000 individuals resident in Catalonia, including genomic information, and extensive phenotypic analysis and a detailed clinical follow-up. The participation of GCAT volunteers, with the willing donation of biological samples and clinical data is extraordinarily useful for developing effective and successful long term research. Many scientific advances of recent years have been the fruits of this type of vision.
GCAT offers a dynamic multidisciplinary and transversal path for collaborative research. It is a consolidated format, similar to those of other European countries, that has to spearhead an innovative approach to genomic research in public health.
Europe has been a leader in developing large cohorts. Most of these population cohorts, clinical collections and European biobanks were established in 2013; the European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) and the BBMRI (Biobanking and Biomolecular Research Infrastructure) which unites 2.5 millions of participants. The GCAT cohort is aligned with and developed under the guidelines of the BBMRI to facilitate synergies throughout Europe.