GSCAN is a collaborative endeavor to identify genes associated with use of alcohol and nicotine. Over 30 studies with over 1 million research participants are working together to find genes associated with smoking and drinking, providing insight into biological mechanisms of addiction.

GSCAN is composed of three complementary projects:

  1. GWAS of alcohol and nicotine use. This project uses a standard GWAS meta-analysis, combined with high-quality imputation using a large haplotype panel from the Haplotype Reference Consortium, to achieve high power for detecting genetic associations.
  2. Exome meta-analysis of alcohol and nicotine use (formerly known as EMADS). The exome project is similar to the GWAS meta-analysis, except that we test for associations between alcohol/nicotine use and rare nonsynonymous variants. These rare variants are expected to be highly functional, and this meta-analysis is highly powered to determine if this hypothesis is true. Over 20 studies have also commited to contribute to this project and many have submitted results.
  3. Whole Genome Sequencing association study of alcohol and nicotine use. Whole genome sequencing provides high quality rare variant genotype calls. The focus of the sequencing project will be to follow up hits from the GWAS and Exome Chip projects, evaluating them at a high level of detail.