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NIH Announces $55 Million Towards Precision Medicine Initiative

Posted on 9 July 2016

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The Precision Medicine Initiative aims to study 1 million people in an effort to understand the influence of genetics and environment on disease, and the NIH has just announced $55 million towards its cohort program

As part of the initiative, the PMI cohort program is an extremely ambitious program, with the task of sequencing and categorizing over 1 million US citizens. With $55 million now released for funding, the study can begin enrolling with an aim to complete enrollment by 2020. 

What does the program involve? 

All participants will be extensively screened – answering questions on history and lifestyle, alongside adopting health monitoring apps and devices, providing blood and urine samples, and undergoing genome sequencing. 

“This range of information at the scale of 1 million people from all walks of life will be an unprecedented resource for researchers working to understand all of the factors that influence health and disease. Over time, data provided by participants will help us answer important health questions, such as why some people with elevated genetic and environmental risk factors for disease still manage to maintain good health, and how people suffering from a chronic illness can maintain the highest possible quality of life. The more we understand about individual differences, the better able we will be to effectively prevent and treat illness”

Mayo clinic has already been awarded the task of creating a biobank for all of the samples, and the Data and Research Support Center has been awarded to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in collaboration with The Broad Institute and Google’s Verily Life Sciences. The program hopes to repeat successes in the field of cancer and apply them to a huge range of other diseases. We can hope that the initiative helps create a paradigm shift towards preventative, precision medicine; a necessary move if we want to make serious and smart progress with it comes to longevity. 


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