SC CTSI Supports Recruitment of Diverse Participants for Landmark $1.5 Billion Precision Medicine Research Initiative

Secure, nationwide big data project known as "All of Us" seeks to accelerate research and improve health for a diverse population, not just majority groups.

May 02, 2018

Keck School of Medicine of USC and nationwide partners are launching a landmark $1.5 billion National Institutes of Health-led program that seeks to accelerate the development of precision medicine. One of the project’s priorities is to achieve a demographically, geographically and medically diverse community of participants, especially by including those who are underrepresented in biomedical research.

The Keck School of Medicine is critical to the effort: The county of Los Angeles is one of the most ethnically diverse in the United States. Communities that traditionally have been excluded from research will be included, said Daniella Meeker, the project’s USC principal investigator and assistant professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine.

“USC is uniquely positioned to help the team achieve its diversity goals,” said Meeker, a researcher at the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics. “This initiative will inform the way that health care and precision medicine is created in the future. It’s like the human genome project but for the entire American population.”

The All of Us Research Program opens for enrollment on May 6. Led by the National Institutes of Health, All of Us is an unprecedented effort to gather genetic, biological, environmental, health and lifestyle data from 1 million or more volunteer participants living in the United States.

Unlike research studies that are focused on a specific disease or population, All of Us will serve as a national research resource to inform thousands of studies. It will cover a wide variety of health conditions. Researchers will be able to access data from the program to learn more about how individual differences in lifestyle, environment and biological makeup can influence health and disease. Participants will be able to access their own health information, summary data about the entire participant community, and information about studies and findings that come from All of Us.

All of Us is a registered service mark of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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