Genom Austria is an open science project based at the CeMM Research Center of Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. Our collaborators include the Medical University of Vienna, Harvard Medical School and the PersonalGenomes.org foundation, which coordinates the Global Network of Personal Genome Projects. Genom Austria is committed to the principles for open, public and non-commercial Personal Genome Projects as defined by George Church at Harvard Medical School in 2005.
We believe data sharing is good for science and society. Our project is dedicated to creating a public resource of personal genomes that everyone can access. Privacy, confidentiality and anonymity are impossible to guarantee in a context like this research study where public sharing of genetic data is an explicit goal. Therefore, our project collaborates with participants who are fully aware of the implications and privacy concerns of making their personal genome data public. Volunteering is not for everyone, but the participants who join make a valuable and lasting contribution to science.
We respect the people behind the data, and we aim to maintain strong relationships with participants. For example, we would like to collaborate on tracking health and other traits as they unfold over time. We also want to better understand the benefits and risks related to accessing and sharing personal genomes and other types of data.
Personal genomes are just one part of the story, and genes interact with the environment to form traits. Participants may thus choose to contribute other public data to build public records of their health and traits. We also try to connect participants with research, education, and citizen science projects that involve personal genome data.