Geneticists are quietly working on a major research effort, what they call the largest-ever study of its kind, in search of a genetic component to explain why people assigned one gender at birth so persistently identify as the other, often from very early childhood. A consortium of five research institutions in Europe and the United States, including Vanderbilt University Medical Center, George Washington University and Boston Children’s Hospital, is looking to the genome, a

person’s complete set of DNA, for clues about whether transgender people are born that way. Two decades of brain research have provided hints of a biological origin to being transgender, but no irrefutable conclusions.Researchers in the consortium have extracted DNA from the blood samples of 10,000 people, 3,000 of them transgender and the rest non-transgender, or cisgender. CONTINUE