Novel genes are now identified at a rapid pace for many Mendelian disorders, and increasingly, for genetically complex phenotypes. However, new challenges have also become evident: (1) effectively managing larger exome and/or genome datasets, especially for smaller labs; (2) direct hands-on analysis and contextual interpretation of variant data in large genomic datasets; and (3) many small and medium-sized clinical and research-based investigative teams around the world are generating data that, if combined and shared, will significantly increase the opportunities for the entire community to identify new genes. To address these challenges, we have developed GEnomes Management Application (GEM.app), a software tool to annotate, manage, visualize, and analyze large genomic datasets (https://genomics.med.miami.edu/). GEM.app currently contains ∼1,600 whole exomes from 50 different phenotypes studied by 40 principal investigators from 15 different countries. The focus of GEM.app is on user-friendly analysis for nonbioinformaticians to make next-generation sequencing data directly accessible. Yet, GEM.app provides powerful and flexible filter options, including single family filtering, across family/phenotype queries, nested filtering, and evaluation of segregation in families. In addition, the system is fast, obtaining results within 4 sec across ∼1,200 exomes. We believe that this system will further enhance identification of genetic causes of human disease.
© 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.