The power of partnership.
You’ve got a novel research concept. We have a growing database and an engaged research cohort. Together, we can advance science and accelerate the pace of discovery.
In conjunction with 23andMe researchers, de-identified, aggregated data from the 23andMe database can be utilized for selected collaborative projects. Both genotypic and phenotypic information is available from more than 1 million participants.
- In collaboration with Prof. Peter Visscher at the University of Queensland, 23andMe is studying the role of genes and the environment on mate choice in humans. Assortative mating occurs when individuals show a preference for those who are similar to themselves. Using data from 23andMe, Visscher’s group has developed methods to understand how much genetics explain similarities between spouses. (Publication pending)
- We have investigated the genetic underpinnings of the onset of puberty in both boys and girls as part of a collaboration with Dr. John Perry at the University of Cambridge. In one study, we investigated voice-breaking in boys and in another, 23andMe results were compared with other datasets to understand age at menarche in girls. We found that shared genetic factors influence puberty timing in both sexes.
- 23andMe data is also being used to replicate findings, as in the case of a study 23andMe performed to replicate research findings from Kaiser Permanente and UCSF. Scientists at Kaiser and UCSF performed a genome wide association study to identify genetic risks for hernias using electronic health records from 110,000 patients who are part of Kaiser Permanente’s Genetic Epidemiology Research in Adult Health and Aging cohort.
- 23andMe has been collaborating with medical geneticist Dr. Robert Green and Dr. Scott Roberts, who jointly lead the Impact of Personal Genomics (PGen) Study. The study broadly aims to understand consumer experiences of personal genetic testing—including its impact on health outcomes and whether the testing results in undue anxiety. In a series of papers, the PGen group has investigated the medical, behavioral and economic outcomes of direct-to-consumer genetic testing, including that of 23andMe customers, in particular.
Types of studies that catch our eye.
We are looking for projects that are truly collaborative, where we can help you make novel discoveries from your datasets and recently developed analytic tools.
The types of studies we can participate in may include:
Replication of GWAS findings using the 23andMe research cohort.
Assessing newly developed methods or algorithms.
Application of genotypic data from select ancestry or disease cohorts to enhance ancestry inference and/or disease risk prediction.
Validation of survey responses through clinical assessment.
What are the selection criteria?
We are only able to select a handful of collaboration projects each year.
Please review the criteria carefully as you prepare your application.
Scientific quality and innovativeness of the project proposed
Expertise of and resources available to the investigators
Quality, value and willingness to share complementary data resources, new methodologies or approaches that validate our findings
Supporting the scientific community.
Access published 23andMe datasets
We are committed to supporting researchers, and one way we do this is by enabling access to data we have included in a publication. We provide access to full summary statistics from published 23andMe GWAS for use in your research through a data transfer agreement. To initiate this process, provide a brief description of the research project and list the investigators at your institution that will access the data.submit request
“Our group has enjoyed collaborating with 23andMe researchers. We have been able to test and validate new methods and reach new empirical conclusions by accessing summary statistics from the 23andMe research participant cohort. The 23andMe database is a unique resource that has furthered our group's scientific research."Alkes Price, PhD
Assistant Professor of Statistical Genetics
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
- 23andMe data will be shared in aggregate (rather than individual level) and cannot be distributed, shared or sold to third parties
- Chosen collaborators will receive non-exclusive access to the data
- Collaborators must agree that the results of their research will be published in open-access scientific journals (or open-access articles) and according to 23andMe’s publication best practices. Currently, those best practices only allow for the publication of summary statistics for up to 10,000 SNPs; this applies to meta-analyses that include 23andMe data
- Collaborators may not file for intellectual property rights covering the results of this collaborative research
- Please note that this collaboration will not cover the cost of additional data collection or fees for making an article open-access
Questions? We have answers.
Only applications from researchers associated with an academic institution will be considered for this program. Collaborators can be involved with academic institutions that are domestic or foreign, public or private academic institutions, but the institution must be non-commercial and the research must be for non-commercial purposes.
Researchers may be at any stage of their careers. Applications submitted by a group of researchers at the same institution will also be considered.
- A research proposal summary, which will be made public if the proposal is accepted (no more than 500 words)
- A description of the proposed research project (no more than 2,000 words)
- A description of unique datasets or analytic tools that your research group has developed and will provide for the collaboration. Researchers should include a description of the IRB-approved protocol used to collect the dataset, if applicable (a total of no more than 1,000 words)
- A list of co-investigators and other personnel
Data sharing is structured to provide the same robust privacy protections that 23andMe research participants have as part of their normal participation in 23andMe Research. Only data from 23andMe customers who have accepted 23andMe’s IRB-approved consent document will be incorporated into any analysis. Only de-identified, aggregate data will be shared; no individual level data will be shared. All applicants should take this policy into consideration when designing the research approach.
Any data sharing will take place in accordance with the terms of the 23andMe Academic Research Agreement between a collaborator and 23andMe. Any actions taken by our collaborators that threaten the privacy of 23andMe research participants are grounds for termination of the collaboration and to other remedies described in such agreement.