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​Pitt and UPMC join NIH in Launching Nationwide Precision Medicine Effort

PITTSBURGH, May 2, 2018 — On May 6, the National Institutes of Health will open national enrollment for the All of Us Research Program—a momentous effort to advance individualized prevention, treatment and care for people of all backgrounds—in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh and other partners.

The overall aim at Pitt, NIH and other research partners is to enroll more than 1 million volunteers, particularly from communities that have been underrepresented in research, to make the program the largest, most diverse resource of its kind. Volunteers will join more than 25,000 participants across the United States who have already enrolled in All of Us as part of a year-long early enrollment to prepare for the program’s national launch. People ages 18 and older, regardless of health status, will be able to participate.

NIH has funded more than 100 organizations throughout the U.S. to be partners in the program, including Pitt. The total amount awarded to Pitt is anticipated to top $60 million.

“The time is now to transform how we conduct research—with participants as partners—to shed new light on how to stay healthy and manage disease in more personalized ways. This is what we can accomplish through All of Us,” said Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., director of the NIH.

Precision medicine is an emerging approach to disease treatment and prevention that considers differences in people’s lifestyles, environments and biological makeup, including genes. By partnering with 1 million diverse people who share information about themselves over many years, the All of Us Research Program will enable research to more precisely prevent and treat a variety of health conditions.

All of Us seeks to transform the relationship between researchers and participants, bringing them together as partners to inform the program’s directions, goals and responsible return of research information. 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 Pennsylvania has the potential to shift the practice of modern medicine. The ability to approach patients with unique prevention strategies and treatment options based on each person’s lifestyle, environment, and genomic data is what makes it precision medicine,” said Arthur S. Levine, M.D., Pitt’s senior vice chancellor for the health sciences and John and Gertrude Petersen Dean of Medicine.

“The All of Us Research Program is expected to change the way diseases are prevented, diagnosed and treated based on individual differences. By engaging one million Americans nationally, this study will create the largest health research database of its kind to advance precision medicine – an individualized approach to health,” said principal investigator Steven E. Reis, M.D., associate vice chancellor for clinical research, Health Sciences, professor of medicine, and director of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at Pitt.

“The future of health care is precision medicine and UPMC, along with our partners at Pitt, is proud to lead the way in redefining care for our patients and our community,” said Steve Shapiro, M.D., chief medical and scientific officer, UPMC.

Participants are asked to share different types of health and lifestyle information, including through online surveys and electronic health records (EHRs), which will continue to be collected over the course of the program. At different times over the coming months and years, some participants will be asked to visit a local partner site to provide blood and urine samples, and to have basic physical measurements taken, such as height and weight. To ensure that the program gathers information from all types of people, especially those who have been underrepresented in research, not everyone will be asked to give physical measures and samples. In the future, participants may be invited to share data through wearable devices and to join follow-up research studies, including clinical trials.

Also in future phases of the program, children will be able to enroll, and the program will add more data types, such as genetic data. Ultimately, the All of Us Research program will be a rich and open data resource for traditional academic researchers as well as citizen scientists.

To learn more about the program and how to join, please visit Join All of Us PA.

Note: “All of Us” is a registered service mark of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS).

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