August 2, 2016
UW MSTP students sequenced the whole genome of a cadaver during their first year medical school human anatomy course. The patient had died from complications of pulmonary fibrosis. The genome revealed a risk factor, in the form of a genetic variant involved in mucous production. The variant’s association with pulmonary fibrosis had been previously known, but this is the first time the whole genome of someone with this variant has been sequenced, thereby permitting assessment of its causative role. In this revolutionary educational and research exercise, students worked cooperatively in the gross anatomy lab, participated in gross and microscopic pathological examination of tissue, completed genome sequencing, performed sophisticated computational analysis of genomic data, and worked together to write the manuscript.