The NIH Precision Medicine Initiative: The All of Us Research Program
Philip Greenland, M.D.
Joyce Ho, Ph.D.
Precision medicine is a concept that was nearly unheard of prior to 2008, but in 2018, PubMed listed nearly 4000 citations for the term “precision medicine.” The National Institutes of Health launched an ambitious precision medicine initiative in 2015 and began recruiting participants into a 1 million person cohort study in 2017. To date, nearly 100,000 people have joined this effort, now called the “All of Us Research Program.” As described by the NIH, All of Us is “more than just a medical research program.” It is described as “a celebration of the American spirit in all its diversity and capacity to generate positive change.” The goal of the cohort study is to create a health care environment that is based on specific treatments for specific individuals. It takes into account factors like where a person lives, what activities they do, and what is their family health history. Precision medicine’s goal is to be able to tell people the best ways to stay healthy. If someone does become ill, precision medicine may help health care teams find the treatment that will work best. The study expects to provide researchers, patients, and doctors the information they need to make tailored recommendations, relevant to people of different backgrounds, ages, or regions.In this talk, Drs. Ho and Greenland will discuss the overall program goals as well as the evolving data elements and genomic analysis plan, and the researcher portal, which will enable researchers from anywhere to utilize data from the study. We will also discuss related projects, like the UK Biobank and the Million Veterans Study, to learn from those experiences and anticipate what we may learn from the All of Us Research Program.
Keywords: precision medicine; personalized medicine; genetics; health risks