The IEU GWAS Database

Benjamin Elsworth, Tom R Gaunt, Gibran Hemani, Yi Liu, Matt Lyon, Louise Millard , Ruth Mitchell

The MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit (MRC IEU) at the University of Bristol hosts the IEU GWAS Database, the world’s largest collection of Genome Wide Associate Study data. As of April 2019, the database contains over 250 billion genetic association records from more than 20,000 analysis of human traits.

The IEU GWAS database underpins the IEUs flagship MR-Base analytical platform ( which is used by people all over the world to carry out analyses that identify causal relationships between risk factors and diseases, and prioritize potential drug targets. The use of MR-Base by hundreds of unique users per week generates a high volume of queries to the IEU GWAS database (typically 1-4 million queries per week.

We have constructed a scalable, robust database that will grow with the increasing numbers of GWAS, and users. Additionally, we have developed an automated GWAS upload interface and harmonisation pipeline for authors wishing to make their GWAS available through this platform.