Impact of integrated translational research on clinical exome sequencing

Eric W. Klee, Margot A. Cousin, Filippo Pinto e Vairo, Joel A. Morales-Rosado, Erica L. Macke, W. Garrett Jenkinson, Alejandro Ferrer, Laura E. Schultz-Rogers, Rory J. Olson, Gavin R. Oliver, Ashley N. Sigafoos, Tanya L. Schwab, Michael T. Zimmermann, Raul A. Urrutia, Charu Kaiwar, Aditi Gupta, Patrick R. Blackburn, Nicole J. Boczek, Carri A. Prochnow, Rebecca J. LowyLindsay A. Mulvihill, Tammy M. McAllister, Stacy L. Aoudia, Teresa M. Kruisselbrink, Lauren B. Gunderson, Jennifer L. Kemppainen, Laura J. Fisher, Jessica M. Tarnowski, Megan M. Hager, Sarah A. Kroc, Nicole L. Bertsch, Katherine E. Agre, Jessica L. Jackson, Sarah K. Macklin-Mantia, Marine I. Murphree, Laura M. Rust, Jolene M. Summer Bolster, Scott A. Beck, Paldeep S. Atwal, Marissa S. Ellingson, Sarah S. Barnett, Kristen J. Rasmussen, Carrie A. Lahner, Zhiyv Niu, Linda Hasadsri, Matthew J. Ferber, Cherisse A. Marcou, Karl J. Clark, Pavel N. Pichurin, David R. Deyle, Eva Morava-Kozicz, Ralitza H. Gavrilova, Radhika Dhamija, Klaas J. Wierenga, Brendan C. Lanpher, Dusica Babovic-Vuksanovic, Gianrico Farrugia, Lisa A. Schimmenti, A. Keith Stewart, Konstantinos N. Lazaridis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Exome sequencing often identifies pathogenic genetic variants in patients with undiagnosed diseases. Nevertheless, frequent findings of variants of uncertain significance necessitate additional efforts to establish causality before reaching a conclusive diagnosis. To provide comprehensive genomic testing to patients with undiagnosed disease, we established an Individualized Medicine Clinic, which offered clinical exome testing and included a Translational Omics Program (TOP) that provided variant curation, research activities, or research exome sequencing. Methods: From 2012 to 2018, 1101 unselected patients with undiagnosed diseases received exome testing. Outcomes were reviewed to assess impact of the TOP and patient characteristics on diagnostic rates through descriptive and multivariate analyses. Results: The overall diagnostic yield was 24.9% (274 of 1101 patients), with 174 (15.8% of 1101) diagnosed on the basis of clinical exome sequencing alone. Four hundred twenty-three patients with nondiagnostic or without access to clinical exome sequencing were evaluated by the TOP, with 100 (9% of 1101) patients receiving a diagnosis, accounting for 36.5% of the diagnostic yield. The identification of a genetic diagnosis was influenced by the age at time of testing and the disease phenotype of the patient. Conclusion: Integration of translational research activities into clinical practice of a tertiary medical center can significantly increase the diagnostic yield of patients with undiagnosed disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)498-507
Number of pages10
JournalGenetics in Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • clinical practice
  • diagnostic odyssey
  • genomics
  • undiagnosed disease
  • variants of uncertain significance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)


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