‘Wellderly’ Study gets boost from partnership

Complete Genomics Inc. will sequence, at its own cost, the human genomes of participants in the Wellderly Study being conducted by Scripps Health Chief Academic Officer Dr. Eric J. Topol, according to an announcement on Monday.

Over the past four years, Topol has recruited 1,000 healthy elderly individuals who are at least 80 years old and free from major diseases and long-term medications. The median age of this study group is 87, and participants range up to 108 years old, the press release from Scripps Health said. The goal is to enroll 2,000 individuals to donate to the program’s gene bank.

“There have been a significant number of longevity studies, but the Wellderly Study is the first one focused specifically on healthy aging,” said Dr. Topol. “Furthermore, through our partnership with Complete Genomics, we are now conducting the largest whole genome study of a single phenotype – healthy lifespan or healthspan.”

The Wellderly Study aims to “uncover the genetic underpinnings of healthy life span, which likely involve guardian genes that protect against chronic diseases,” the release states. “Second, healthy older individuals are ideal controls for genetic studies of late-onset diseases such as various cancers, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.”

In addition to sequencing the whole genomes of these 1,000 Wellderly Study participants, Complete Genomics will work with Scripps to assemble the results into a Wellderly Genomic Reference Resource, which may have broad applicability in the field of translational medicine.

People who meet the study criteria and are interested in participating should call (800) 727-4777 or e-mail