Inherited: a big, beautiful smile & a tendency for high cholesterol

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The In Our DNA SC community research project study team is aware of a recent influx of fraud schemes involving genetic testing. Scammers may offer genetic testing, request insurance information for identity theft, or impose fraudulent billing. Fraudsters appear to be targeting beneficiaries through telemarketing calls.

The In Our DNA SC research study team will never call you to request insurance information, or to request payment. Participants will never be directed to a 3rd party testing agency for additional testing that requires payment.

Please reach out to the In Our DNA SC study team by email or calling 843-876-0582 with any questions or concerns.

In Our DNA SC is a community health research project launched by MUSC. The project will look at how your DNA affects your health. It may also help improve access to personalized health care and support new research discoveries for our community.

In Our DNA SC aims to enroll 100,000 participants in genetic testing at no cost to you. You and your doctor will receive confidential results about your genetic risk for certain cancers and heart disease. The project will also develop a secure and privacy-protected genetic and research database. Over time, the information in this database will help researchers learn what may cause certain diseases, how to treat them more effectively and help improve the standard of health care for all.

Precision medicine is an emerging field that is going to transform the future delivery of health care. Being a leader and helping to define this path is core to our mission. We are excited to partner with Helix to deploy this first-of-its-kind population genomic program for our patients. This collaboration will help drive preventive, precision health care for South Carolinians.

Dr. David J. Cole, M.D., FACS, MUSC president

Dr. David Cole in a lab coat


What to expect

To participate in the In OUR DNA SC research study you will need to review and sign a research consent form as well as provide a saliva sample (no blood needed). Your saliva sample will be sent back to Helix, a leading population genomics company for analysis. You will receive:

  • Your personal health risks

    Your sample will be screened for three conditions that can be passed down in families and may put you at a higher risk for certain cancers and heart disease: Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer, Lynch Syndrome (Hereditary Colorectal Cancer), and Familial Hypercholesterolemia (Genetic High Cholesterol).

  • Your genetic ancestry and traits

    Your genetic ancestry report will show where your ancestors likely lived. Your traits report will explain how your genes may influence certain traits (such as your caffeine sensitivity).

  • How your participation helps researchers

    As a part of our valued research community, we will keep you updated on how your data is helping advance scientific research.

How to sign up

If you already have an established MUSC MyChart Account, click on the blue "Sign Up Now" button above. You will be asked to login with your MUSC MyChart credentials which will then send you directly to the consent form.

If you do not have an established MUSC MyChart Account, you can sign up for a Mychart Account, then return to the In Our DNA SC website and click on the blue "Sign Up Now" button.

Please read over the consent form carefully. You will be asked to answer questions regarding the consent form and research study before being able to provide your signature electronically at the bottom of the document. You can draw your electronic signature using your computer mouse, stylus, or finger if using a mobile device. Be sure to authorize your signature by clicking the checkbox below the electronic signature box.

Please note, there are two options we currently provide for sample collection. You will need to choose from one the following:

  • At-Home collection: a test kit will be mailed to the address provided in MyChart within one month of signing the consent form. Please note: Kits can only be shipped to a US mailing address and should be returned to Helix within 10 days of receipt.
  • Event collection: enrolled participants will schedule an appointment via MyChart to meet with the study team at a collection event around South Carolina. We are currently collecting samples in the Charleston, Columbia, Florence, and Lancaster areas. If you select this option, you will receive a follow-up notification to "Schedule an Appointment" at a time that is convenient for you. Please note: Any participant enrolled in the study that is not receiving an at-home collection kit may provide their sample at the first floor Blood Draw Labs in Rutledge Tower or Ashley River Tower on the MUSC Charleston campus. Please check-in with the first floor Registration upon arrival to the lab.
    • Look for In Our DNA SC upcoming events on MUSC's Event Calendar. Please note this is just to review upcoming events, if you would like to schedule an appointment, follow the instructions on the follow-up notification.

How to View Your Results

Once you have signed the informed consent and provided your sample, you will be able to view your results as they become available. Your genetic ancestry and traits results are typically ready within eight weeks of your sample being received by Helix. It takes an additional four to six weeks before your health results are ready to view, as extra steps are taken to ensure your health results are accurate.

Helix will email you as your results become available to view in the Helix online portal if you created a Helix account.

To view your results in the Helix online portal:

  1. Visit 
  2. Click "Sign In" at the top of the screen
  3. Select "Continue with your Online Health Account"
  4. Select "Medical University of South Carolina" as your Health System 
  5. Login with your MyChart information
  6. You will be able to view your results by clicking on the arrows beside "Ancestry", "Traits", and "Health", when they become available

Once your health results are available, they will be returned to your medical record and will be available in MyChart, under the labs/results tab and listed as "Helix Molecular Screen". You will receive a MUSC Health MyChart message notification when the results are available.


In Our DNA SC Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Efforts

In Our DNA SC values diversity and encourages participation of all individuals in South Carolina. We recognize that lack of transparency and inappropriate use of data have caused mistrust among many communities about research. In Our DNA SC has taken steps to ensure transparency, data security, and partnership for our work. Our project is guided by a set of principles:

  • Inclusivity. We invite individuals from all backgrounds to participate in In Our DNA SC and seek to ensure those who participate are representative of South Carolina’s diverse population. Participant diversity is critical to the success of the project so that new research discoveries reflect the population.
  • Transparency. Participants have access to their information and are notified about how their data are used to advance research and precision medicine.
  • Data Security. We respect privacy and security of participant information. Information is stored in secure databases, we limit and closely monitor who can access data, and participants can choose to withdraw and stop sharing information at any time.
  • Impact. Participation in In Our DNA SC aims to empower individuals to become more informed about their health. New research insights will enable more personalized health care for all.
  • Partnership. We seek to partner with participants and are open to feedback and learning. We will communicate new discoveries. In Our DNA SC is committed to listening to our community, answering questions, and working together to provide personalized health care for all.

Learn More Now

Ready to learn more? Have questions? Contact the In Our DNA SC study team by emailing us or calling 843-876-0582.