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USC to Join $1.5 Billion NIH Study on Precision Medicine

USC has joined a $1.5 billion study led by the National Institutes of Health to track the health of a million Americans to advance precision medicine, university officials announced May 1.

The Keck School of Medicine at USC will receive $3.7 million in federal research funds for the first half of a 10 year study that aims to ramp up research and improve the health in underrepresented communities.

“USC is uniquely positioned to help the team achieve its diversity goals,” said Daniella Meeker, assistant professor of preventative medicine and the study’s lead investigator at USC, in a statement.

“This initiative will inform the way that health care and precision medicine is created in the future,” she said. “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. By partnering with a million people from diverse populations, researchers hope to be able to more precisely prevent and treat a variety of health conditions.

Precision medicine is a new approach to disease treatment and prevention that considers differences in people’s lifestyles, environments and biological makeup, including genes.

Participants will be asked to share health and lifestyle information, including online surveys and data from electronic health records. Some will be asked to provide blood and urine samples and other health information in the years ahead.

The data will offer useful information related to medical histories, side effects and treatment effectiveness, according to the NIH.

Health business reporter Dana Bartholomew can be reached at dbartholomew@labusinessjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @_DanaBart.

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