Steve and Cindy Rasmussen Institute for Genomic Medicine

Optimizing Patient Care Through Translational Genomics

A New Standard of Care

Take a look inside the Institute for Genomic Medicine

Steve and Cindy Rasmussen Institute for Genomic Medicine

It’s an exciting time for the field of genomics, and Nationwide Children’s is leading the charge. 

The Steve and Cindy Rasmussen Institute for Genomic Medicine is a nationally recognized provider of expertise in multiple aspects of genomics data generation and analysis. It creates a unique environment where state-of-the-art testing by its clinical laboratory, advanced computational data analytics and translational research efforts come together to transform patient care and make genomic testing results accessible and meaningful for patients and families.

The Institute at a Glance

The establishment of the Steve and Cindy Rasmussen Institute for Genomic Medicine in 2016 marked one of the nation’s first and most robust ventures into pediatric precision genomic medicine. With the recruitment of Executive Director Richard Wilson, PhD, and Co-Executive Director Elaine Mardis, PhD, from Washington University-St. Louis and the expertise of world-renowned Nationwide Children's faculty, including Peter White, PhD, Nationwide Children’s became uniquely positioned to assume a leadership role in the new era of genomic-based medicine, which focuses on genomics as the root cause of many childhood diseases and genome-based testing as central to pediatric diagnosis and treatment. 

Combining a robust clinical laboratory with genome scientists and clinical geneticists to optimize patient care and, the Institute remains one of the few programs of its kind in the United States.

Strategic Plan

In June 2021, Nationwide Children’s Hospital announced the most ambitious strategic plan of its 129-year history: Leading the Journey to Best Outcomes for Children Everywhere, a five-year, $3.3 billion commitment to capitalizing on the hospital’s strengths to revolutionize the next frontier of pediatric health. 

Genomics research and personalized medicine is a cornerstone of the integration of clinical care and research and an area where Nationwide Children’s is truly leading the charge. As such, hospital leadership identified genomic medicine at Nationwide Children’s as one of the three key pillars of the new strategic plan. 

The Steve and Cindy Rasmussen Institute for Genomic Medicine’s own strategic plan supports the critical role genomic research plays in the overall strategic plan for the hospital. It describes how the Institute’s core capabilities will becoming even more deeply integrated throughout Nationwide Children’s over the next five years. 

Three Paradigm Shifting Areas

  1. Develop novel genomics-enabled research: Develop new translational programs focused on key service lines and launch Healthy Kids project and biobanking initiative for investigators at Nationwide Children's to access.
  2. Advance genomics-drive precision medicine: Increase patient access to genetic/genomic testing through clinical assays, new testing modalities and clinical trials.
  3. Advance computational genomics and informatics: Improve treatments and outcomes by maximizing data-driven discovery through data science, artificial intelligence and leadership of international data sharing activities.

Through collaboration among clinicians, physician-scientists and basic science investigators and use of state-of-the-art technology, the Institute quickly translates novel research results into advanced diagnostics.

Expanding the availability of clinical genetic and genomic testing enables providers to diagnose conditions earlier, to better predict patient outcomes and to personalize treatment for each individual patient. 

Additionally, further developing novel translational programs to study how DNA underlies various diagnoses and helps define treatments, conducting population-scale studies that enhance our ability to predict disease susceptibility, and analyzing clinical data to develop new hypotheses will drive discoveries and define how genomics can advance precision medicine.

Fueled by the innovation, expertise and passion of the expert team and world-renowned faculty in the Institute, genomics will be a component of precision medicine for increasing numbers of children across increasing numbers of service lines as they are being diagnosed and treated.

Click here to learn more about the Institute’s strategic plan and the three paradigm-shifting areas that define it.

Meet Our Team

The Steve and Cindy Rasmussen Institute for Genomic Medicine is a nationally recognized provider of expertise in multiple aspects of genomics data generation and analysis.

Licenses and Accreditations

Nationwide Children's Laboratory Services is licensed and accredited to perform testing a number of agencies

Patient Stories

Charlie's Story

Meet Charlie

You're about to meet first time parents who spent months on a diagnostic odyssey. Traditional testing couldn't give them a clear diagnosis for their daughter, Charlie. Dr. Kim McBride suggested genetic testing and that's when Charlie's life changed for the better.

Resources for Families

IGM Blog infographic

Genes, Genetics and Genomics: Understanding What Makes You Who You Are

Genes are short sections of DNA that carry information passed down from parents to their children. This information provides the instructions that determine physical features such as eye color, hair color and height. Sometimes this information can cause diseases. View our infographic explaining genes, genetics, the genome and genomics.

child laying in bed, holding adult's hand

Rare Disease: Finding Answers for Patients with Mysterious Conditions

For a disease to be considered “rare,” fewer than 200,000 people in the United States will be affected by it. Some rare genetic disorders can be very difficult to diagnose, and for parents of a child with a rare disease, one of the most anxious times is the period of waiting for a diagnosis.

Research looking into a microscope

What Parent’s Need to Know About Genetic Testing

Genetic testing can help doctors look for changes in genes that can cause diseases or disorders. It can also provide families with more information about long-term needs, health care needs, and future family planning.

Personalized Medicine

Personalized Medicine: The Science Behind Genomics

It's treatment just for you, based on your DNA. Genomic medicine is giving hope to patients and families at Nationwide Children's Hospital and across the world.

Inside the IGM

New Standard of Care: Inside The Steve & Cindy Rasmussen Institute for Genomic Medicine

Dr. Elaine Mardis and Dr. Richard Wilson are among the most respected and prolific teams in science today. Collectively, they have played key roles in many of the most notable federally funded genomics research initiatives. With their expertise and knowledge we will be able to better understand childhood diseases and how to treat those diseases.

What is DNA?

What is DNA and Gene Sequencing?

DNA is the blueprint for life. It helps to explain why our bodies are the way they are. Knowing about our DNA is very important because it helps us understand why we may have certain genetic abnormalities or diseases. And if we can understand the cause of these abnormalities or diseases, then we are in a better position to diagnose and treat them.

Acknowledgements

The Steve and Cindy Rasmussen Institute for Genomic Medicine and the endowed chairs held by its Executive Director Richard K. Wilson, PhD, and Co-Executive Director Elaine Mardis, PhD, are named to honor the transformational support of Steve and Cindy Rasmussen and their commitment to advancing the mission of Nationwide Children’s Hospital. 

During his tenure as CEO of Nationwide, Steve and his leadership team envisioned and established the Nationwide Foundation Pediatric Innovation Fund at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The Innovation Fund provided the initial startup funding to create the Institute for Genomic Medicine at Nationwide Children’s and accelerated the recruitment of its pre-eminent doctors and researchers, including Drs. Mardis and Wilson. 

Since 2014, Nationwide Foundation has contributed $80 million to the fund. With Nationwide Foundation’s initial $50 million gift to the hospital in 2006, the foundation’s cumulative support of Nationwide Children's has now reached $130 million.

Thanks to this support, Nationwide Children’s is uniquely positioned to assume a leadership role in the new era of genomic-based medicine. The Institute will continue to offer pioneering innovations  — and hope — to many more patients and their families for years to come.

Jumping Toddler
Careers

Join the IGM Team

The team at the Institute for Genomic Medicine is growing. Click the links below to view current job listings and to learn more about careers at Nationwide Children's Hospital.