A genome-wide association study (GWAS) is an approach used in genetics research to associate specific genetic variations with particular diseases. What is a genome-wide association study? A genome-wide association study is an approach that involves rapidly scanning markers across the complete sets of. What are genome-wide association studies? What is the International HapMap Project? What is the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE). In genetics, a genome-wide association study (GWA study, or GWAS), also known as whole genome association study (WGA study, or WGAS), is an. In genetics, a genome-wide association study, also known as whole genome association study, is an observational study of a genome-wide set of genetic variants in different individuals to see if any variant is associated with a trait. Genome wide association studies (GWAS) are hypothesis-free methods for identifing associations between genetic regions (loci) and traits (including diseases).