Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy

BabySeq: Genome Sequence-Based Screening for Childhood Risk and Newborn Illness


Project Description

Media Component
Newborn Sequencing Research

The BabySeq project seeks to safely test a new approach to newborn screening using whole genome sequencing. Healthy and sick newborns’ parents, and their pediatricians, will be enrolled into this study and randomized to either receive current standard newborn screening methods or undergo whole genome sequencing plus standard newborn screening methods. A genetic counselor will provide the genomic sequencing information and newborn screening results to the families and the families’ doctors.

Through quantitative longitudinal surveys, parents will be asked about the psychosocial impact of receiving genomic sequencing results and whether the information was useful to them. Physicians will be surveyed at multiple time points to assess the perceived utility of the information and whether and how the information is actually used to manage a patient’s health.

The study will focus on the long-term implications for the health of these babies, as well as the potential impact of receiving this genetic information on the parents, the child, and the family.

Supported by: U19HD077671, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development, National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH


Project Personnel


Principal Investigators

Robert Green, M.D., M.P.H., Overall Co-Principal Investigator
Alan Beggs, Ph.D., Overall Co-Principal Investigator
Heidi Rehm, Ph.D., Project 1 Co-Principal Investigator
Peter Park, Ph.D., Project 1 Co-Principal Investigator
Richard Parad, M.D., M.P.H., Project 2 Co-Principal Investigator
Pankaj Agrawal, M.D., M.B., Project 2 Co-Principal Investigator
Amy McGuire, J.D., Ph.D., Project 3 Co-Principal Investigator
Ingrid Holm, M.D., Ph.D., Project 3 Co-Principal Investigator




Green RC, Shah N, Genetti CA, et al. Actionability of unanticipated monogenic disease risks in newborn genomic screening: Findings from the BabySeq Project. Am J Hum Genet. 2023;110(7):1034-1045. doi:10.1016/j.ajhg.2023.05.007

Pereira S, Gutierrez AM, Robinson JO, et al. Parents' decision-making regarding whether to receive adult-onset only genetic findings for their children: Findings from the BabySeq Project. Genet Med. 2023;25(3):100002. doi:10.1016/j.gim.2022.100002

Armstrong B, Christensen KD, Genetti CA, et al. Parental Attitudes Toward Standard Newborn Screening and Newborn Genomic Sequencing: Findings From the BabySeq Study. Front Genet. 2022;13:867371. Published 2022 Apr 27. doi:10.3389/fgene.2022.867371

Pereira S, Smith HS, Frankel LA, et al. Psychosocial Effect of Newborn Genomic Sequencing on Families in the BabySeq Project: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Pediatr. 2021;175(11):1132-1141. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2021.2829

Schwartz TS, Christensen KD, Uveges MK, et al. Effects of participation in a U.S. trial of newborn genomic sequencing on parents at risk for depression. J Genet Couns. 2022;31(1):218-229. doi:10.1002/jgc4.1475 

Ceyhan-Birsoy, O., Murry, J.B., Machini, K., Lebo, M.S., Timothy, W.Y., Fayer, S., Genetti, C.A., Schwartz, T.S., Agrawal, P.B., Parad, R.B. and Holm, I.A., 2019. Interpretation of Genomic Sequencing Results in Healthy and Ill Newborns: Results from the BabySeq Project. The American Journal of Human Genetics, 104(1), pp.76-93.

Pereira S, Robinson JO, Gutierrez AM, Petersen D, Hsu RL, Lee CH, Schwartz TS, Holm IA, Beggs AH, Green RC, McGuire AL, for The BabySeq Project Group. Perceived Benefits, Risks, and Utility of Newborn Genomic Sequencing in the BabySeq Project. Pediatrics. 2019; 143(s1): S6-S13.

Holm IA, McGuire AL, Pereira S, Rehm H, Green RC, Beggs AH, for the BabySeq Project Group. Returning a genomic result for an adult-onset condition to the parents of a newborn: Insights from the BabySeq Project. Pediatrics. 2019; 143(s1): S37-S43.

VanNoy, G.E., Genetti, C.A., McGuire, A.L., Green, R.C., Beggs, A.H., Holm, I.A. and Group, T.B.P., 2019. Challenging the Current Recommendations for Carrier Testing in Children. Pediatrics, 143(Suppl 1), p.S27.

Genetti CA, Schwartz TS, Robinson JO, VanNoy GE, Petersen D, Pereira S, Fayer S, Peoples HA, Agrawal PB, Betting WN, Holm IA, McGuire AL, Waisbren SE, Yu TW, Green RC, Beggs AH, Parad RB. Parental Interest in Genomic Sequencing of Newborns: Enrollment Experience from the BabySeq Project. Genetics in Medicine. 2018; 21(30: 622-630.

Holm IA, Agrawal PB, Ceyhan-Birsoy O, Christensen KD, Fayer S, Frankel LA, Genetti CA, Krier JB, LaMay RC, Levy HL, McGuire AL, Parad RB, Park PJ, Pereira S, Rehm HL, Schwartz TS, Waisbren SE, Yu TW, Green RC, Beggs AH. The BabySeq Project: Implementing Genomic Sequencing in Newborns. BMC Pediatrics. 2018; 18(225).

Murry, J.B., Machini, K., Ceyhan-Birsoy, O., Kritzer, A., Krier, J.B., Lebo, M.S., Fayer, S., Genetti, C.A., VanNoy, G.E., Timothy, W.Y. and Agrawal, P.B., 2018. Reconciling newborn screening and a novel splice variant in BTD associated with partial biotinidase deficiency: a BabySeq Project case report. Molecular Case Studies, 4(4), p.a002873.

Berg JS, Agrawal PB, Bailey DB, Beggs AH, Brenner SE, Brower AM, Cakici JA, Ceyhan-Birsoy O, Chan K, Chen F, Currier RJ, Dukhovny D, Green RC, Harris-Wai J, Holm IA, Iglesias B, Joseph G, Kingsmore SF, Koenig BA, Kwok PY, Lantos J, Leeder SJ, Lewis MA, McGuire AL, Milko LV, Mooney SD, Parad RB, Pereira S, Petrikin J, Powell BC, Powell CM, Puck JM, Rehm HL, Risch N, Roche M, Shieh JT, Veeraraghavan N, Watson MS, Willig L, Yu TW, Urv T, Wise AL. Newborn Sequencing in Genomic Medicine and Public Health. Pediatrics. 2017;139(2): e20162252.

Ceyhan-Birsoy, O., Machini, K., Lebo, M.S., Tim, W.Y., Agrawal, P.B., Parad, R.B., Holm, I.A., McGuire, A., Green, R.C., Beggs, A.H. and Rehm, H.L., 2017. A curated gene list for reporting results of newborn genomic sequencing. Genetics in Medicine, 19(7), p.809.

Frankel LA, Pereira S, McGuire AL. Potential Psychosocial Risks of Sequencing Newborns. Pediatrics, 137, 2016: 24-9.

Waisbren, S.E., Bäck, D.K., Liu, C., Kalia, S.S., Ringer, S.A., Holm, I.A. and Green, R.C., 2015. In the Early Postpartum Period, Parents are Interested in Newborn Genomic Testing. Genetics in medicine: official journal of the American College of Medical Genetics, 17(6), p.501.


Select Presentations


Blout CL, Christensen KD, Smith HS, Pereira S, Robinson JO, Genetti CA, Fayer S, Betting WN, Schwartz TS, Holm, IA, Beggs, AH, McGuire, AL, Green, RC. Physician Perceived Utility and Preparedness for Newborn Genomic Sequencing: Findings from the BabySeq Project. American College of Medical Genetics Annual Meeting. April 2019, Seattle, WA. Oral presentation.

Christensen KD, Dukhovny D, Agrawal P, Genetti CA, Holm IA, Mackay Z, McGuire AL, Pereira S, Schwartz TS, Yu T, Beggs AH, Green RC, Parad R. Screening Newborns with Genomic Sequencing Increases Short-Term Downstream Health Care Costs: Preliminary Findings from the BabySeq Project. American College of Medical Genetics Annual Meeting. April 2019, Seattle, WA. Poster presentation.

Pereira S, Petersen D, Robinson JO, Frankel L, Christensen KD, Waisbren SE, Holm IA, Beggs AH, Green RC, McGuire AL. The impact of newborn genomic sequencing on families: Findings from the BabySeq Project. American Society of Human Genetics Annual Meeting. October 2018, San Diego, CA. Oral presentation.

Holm, IA, Genetti, CA, Pereira, S, Green, RC, Beggs, AH, McGuire, AL. BRCA2, ELSI, and the Return of Genomic Results in the BabySeq Project. 4th ELSI Congress, June 2017. Poster presentation.

HA Peoples, AM Gutierrez, S Pereira, JO Robinson, L Frankel, MC Towne, M Helm, CA Genetti, IA Holm, AH Beggs, RC Green, AL McGuire. Benefits, Risks, and Perceived Utility of Newborn Genomic Sequencing: Comparing Clinicians' and Physicians' Baseline Attitudes in the BabySeq Project. American Society of Human Genetics Annual Meeting. Vancouver, Canada. October 2016. Poster presentation.

Pereira S, Frankel L, Robinson JO, Weipert CM, Towne MC, Gutierrez A, Lee K, Holm IA, Dukhovny D, Beggs AH, Green RC, McGuire AL. Genomic Sequencing of Newborns: Exploring Psychosocial Risks to Families. American Society of Human Genetics Annual Meeting. Baltimore, MD. October 2015. Poster presentation.


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