COVID-19 host genetics initiative


The COVID-19 host genetics initiative brings together the human genetics community to generate, share, and analyze data to learn the genetic determinants of COVID-19 susceptibility, severity, and outcomes. Such discoveries could help to generate hypotheses for drug repurposing, identify individuals at unusually high or low risk, and contribute to global knowledge of the biology of SARS-CoV-2 infection and disease.


Helsinki’s Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM) spearheaded the project which already has interest from partners worldwide, including: FIMM, Regeneron, Illumina, Helix, Erasmus MC, Gencove, Genomics Medicine Ireland (GMI), SciLifeLab. The UK Biobank, one of world’s largest with DNA data for 500,000 participants, also plans to add COVID-19 health data from participants to its data set.





The COVID-19 host genetics initiative is a bottom-up collaborative effort that has three main aims:

1. Provide an environment to foster the sharing of resources to facilitate COVID-19 host genetics research (e.g. protocols, questionnaires).

2. Organize analytical activities across studies to identify genetic determinants of COVID-19 susceptibility and severity.

3. Provide a platform to share the results from meta-analytical activities to benefit the broader scientific community.


At present there are more than 100 studies participating in the initiative and they have launched a portal to allow exploring studies, research questions and foster collaborations.


To read more about the initiative visit their website

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 

2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 825046

The project is co-ordinated by Department Economy, Science and Innovation (EWI) of the Flemish Government.

Department Economy, Science and Innovation - Koning Albert II-laan 35 1030 Brussels, Belgium