Genomic Research and Incidental Findings



The Human Genome Project showed that there is signifcant genetic variation within the population. Current research is accumulating large databases that may reveal genetic variations associated with disease or health risks, even if not intended as part of the study design. These incidental fnd-ings create legal, ethical, and fnancial challenges for researchers. Current federal and international guidelines are not adequate. Plans for dealing with incidental fndings need to be established in the study design and reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board.