Broad Institute, Partners LMM, and Color receive joint award to become a Genome Center for the All of Us Research Program


NIH funds three genome centers nationwide to generate and share data from a million people to improve human health

National Institutes of Health
Credit: National Institutes of Health

The All of Us Research Program, part of the National Institutes of Health, has named a joint partnership between the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, the Laboratory for Molecular Medicine (LMM) at Partners HealthCare, and Color, a population genomics technology company, as one of three Genome Centers across the United States.

Each Center will generate genomic data from biosamples contributed by the All of Us program’s volunteer participants, who are expected to reach a total of one million. Ultimately, this information will become a critical component in the program’s precision medicine research platform, a national resource to support studies on a variety of important health questions, which may lead to more tailored treatments and prevention strategies in the future.

Under the partnership announced today, Broad’s Genomics Platform will provide clinical-grade genetic sequencing and genotyping of participant samples at its CLIA-licensed, CAP-accredited Clinical Research Sequencing laboratory.

The data will be stripped of identifying information and made widely available for research—but notably, individual results will also be reported back to the participants themselves.

Color will analyze, interpret, and report results from the genomic data sequenced at Broad, working in collaboration with the Partners LMM, which will manage an expert team to address the most challenging genomic variants. The results will include serious and preventable clinical conditions, such as breast and ovarian cancer, familial hypercholesterolemia, Lynch syndrome, and others. In addition, Color will also provide pharmacogenomic results, which provide useful information about how the body processes and responds to medications.

“It is an honor to be named as one of the Genome Centers for this ambitious program,” said Stacey Gabriel, senior director of the Broad Institute Genomics Platform. “The depth and variety of data produced by All of Us will be an invaluable resource for gaining insights into health and disease. We are thrilled to be a part of this.”

“This partnership allows us to collect, analyze, and share important health information with people—including participants, clinicians, and researchers—at a scale and level of clarity that has never been possible before, all while respecting participant confidentiality and privacy,” said Heidi Rehm, medical director of the Clinical Research Sequencing Platform at the Broad Institute and a faculty member at the Center for Genomic Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), where she is also the Chief Genomics Officer in the Department of Medicine.

“We are honored to be selected by the NIH, along with our exceptional partners at the Broad Institute and LMM, to help implement this groundbreaking research program,” said Color CEO Othman Laraki. “Since our founding, we have believed population genomics is the key to moving toward a data-driven and prevention-oriented model of care. All of Us is a tremendous opportunity to unlock the benefits of genetic information to better understand disease and help people live healthier lives.”

Baylor College of Medicine and University of Washington are the other Genomics Centers named in today’s award announcement.

“Fifteen years after the mapping of the human genome, this is a pivotal step toward realizing the promise of that historic achievement,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins in a statement. “Including high-quality genomic information along with many other data types collected in the All of Us program will speed up scientific breakthroughs and ultimately improve the health of future generations.”

In addition to participating as a Genome Center, the Broad Institute is engaged in a partnership to develop a data platform for collecting, curating, securely storing, and sharing the health data collected from the All of Us Research Program’s expected one million participants. The All of Us Data and Research Center is led by Vanderbilt University School of Medicine working with Broad Institute, Verily Life Sciences, and other collaborators.