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What is Genomic Answers for Kids?

The Children’s Mercy Research Institute is undertaking a research initiative to build a first-of-its-kind pediatric data repository to facilitate the search for answers and novel treatments for pediatric genetic conditions. Our goal is to collect genomic data and health information for 30,000 children and their families over the next seven years, creating a database of nearly 100,000 genomes.

Thousands of genetic diseases affecting children remain undiscovered and untreatable. Children’s Mercy is in the unique position of having the technology, scientists, physicians, as well as patient volume and diversity to address this challenge.

Studying the genetics of thousands of children will help us make rapid progress against these unknown diseases and lead the way for future children and families in need. Genomic Answers for Kids will be a rich resource for researchers studying genetic conditions. It could lead to answers and new treatments for children.

We rely on identification of participants by clinicians and the voluntary participation of patients to make progress. Although all of today’s participants may not directly benefit, they will help future children and families in need. With your help, we will find genomic answers for kids.

We are seeking children who may have a genetic condition or a genetic component to their symptoms and their families.

If you are interested in learning more about enrolling your child in Genomic Answers for Kids, please visit our page for patients and families.

If you are a healthcare provider interested in learning more about nominating your patients for Genomic Answers for Kids, please visit our page for providers.

For more information, contact the study team at Children’s Mercy at GA4K@cmh.edu or (816) 915-4200.

“Children’s Mercy is a national leader in pediatric genomic medicine, with a history of high-impact research in rare diseases. Studying the genetics of thousands of children will help us make rapid progress against these unknown diseases and lead the way for future children and families in need.”

Dr. Tomi Pastinen

Lead Study Investigator, Director of the Genomic Medicine Center


Genomic Answers for Kids project progress


We are working hard to make progress for patients with genetic disease!

Words read "1,775 families enrolled"
Words read "4,164 individuals enrolled"
Words read "4,081 genomic analyses"
Words read "303,854 gigabases sequenced*"

*Our genetic material, or DNA, is made of a string of bases. When we sequence DNA we read these bases. Each gigabase sequenced is 1 billion bases read.

Patients Kaden and Ty

Genomic Answers for Kids is finding answers for families, like Kaden and Ty’s

Kaden and Ty have been facing liver disease, a disproportionate overgrowth of fat in the upper part of their bodies despite proper diet and exercise, and more for several years with no clear diagnosis.

Clinical genetic testing came back normal. But, Genomic Answers for Kids found an answer: MFN2 lipomatosis.

“Our journey to a diagnosis was very frustrating. He kept getting worse and we didn’t know if we’d ever find out why. Receiving a diagnosis through Genomic Answers for Kids was a huge relief.

Now that we have a diagnosis, we’re hoping the new drug therapy will lower triglycerides, not damage his liver anymore and help with overall health. And now that we know what’s wrong, the boys met with a plastic surgeon and are getting liposuction on their face, which will help with breathing and self-esteem. We couldn’t have done that without a diagnosis.

The doctor in Michigan who’s researching this rare disease is super impressed with the Children’s Mercy genetic department and that we caught this. She told us that 99% of doctors and hospitals wouldn’t catch it.” – Casie, Kaden and Ty’s mom

You can fuel answers for waiting families

Donors like you will fuel answers for waiting children and families. Give today and support the discoveries of tomorrow.