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BROADMINDED BLOG

Blog / 05.18.18

All of Us launches

NIH
Credit : NIH
By Tom Ulrich
The NIH is recruiting one million Americans in a massive program aiming to boost precision medicine. The Broad Institute is partnering to put the resulting massive, diverse dataset to work.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has opened the All of Us Research Program for general enrollment. This nationwide effort will collect, track, and glean medical knowledge from the health and genetic data of one million volunteers, in order to accelerate progress toward making precision medicine a reality.

Engaging one million Americans will be a massive and challenging undertaking, one requiring the efforts of doctors, nurses, advocates, scientists, and more from more than 100 institutions, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and companies across the country. Just as challenging will be putting the diverse and massive data the project collects to work.  

Together, Vanderbilt University, Verily Life Sciences, and the Broad are playing a critical role in one of the program’s six core research components: its Data and Research Center (DRC). The DRC will be the nexus through which all data collected from all of the program's participants is organized and stored, and will also produce tools and services for the research community to securely access and study those data.

"All of Us is taking a novel approach to data sharing by building a cloud-based platform that brings researchers to the data, rather than data to the researchers," said Broad chief data officer and institute scientist Anthony Philippakis, who leads the Broad Data Science Platform's efforts as part of the DRC. "It's an approach that saves money and time, enhances security, and democratizes access to tools and data, all of which will accelerate the pace at which the community can translate the data into knowledge, insight, and advances in care."

"All of Us is poised to be a foundational resource for human biology, a Framingham Heart Study for the 21st Century, if you will," added Broad institute member Sekar Kathiresan, director of the institute's Cardiovascular Disease Initiative and of Massachusetts General Hospital's Center for Genomic Medicine, and co-director of the Broad's Program in Medical and Population Genetics. "We are thrilled to help build this national resource for biomedical investigation."

Visit the All of Us launch site for a recap of the program's May 6 launch event. You can also read more in this Verily blog post.