Helping to shape the future of healthcare

Helping to shape the future of healthcare

By UMAA

Helping to shape the future of healthcare

By UMAA
The National Institutes of Health’s All of Us Research Program, the largest research study currently underway in the United States, is recruiting one million people across the country to build one of the most comprehensive and diverse health databases in history.

Want to help shape the future of healthcare? Help medical providers tailor treatments to individuals and improve disease prevention?

The National Institutes of Health’s All of Us Research Program, the largest research study currently underway in the United States, is recruiting one million people across the country to build one of the most comprehensive and diverse health databases in history. Such a database will help accelerate medical research and the development of precision medicine, which focuses on differences in our environments, lifestyles, and biology to customize treatment for individual patients.

The University of Miami was selected as the lead for the SouthEast Enrollment Center (SEEC), which includes the University of Florida, Emory University, and the Morehouse School of Medicine. The SEEC aims to recruit a total of 100,000 participants.

The key to the All of Us Research Program is diversity — of people, data types, and ways of life. In South Florida, one of the country’s most ethnically diverse communities, the regional team led by Miller School of Medicine faculty has recruited 10,455 participants to date. Of these, 93 percent are from populations that are underrepresented in biomedical research, particularly people of Hispanic/Latino and Caribbean ancestry. This allows researchers to make contributions to include all Americans in research studies, regardless of race, income, and other factors.

“One of the most important features of the program are the great efforts being made to ensure adequate representation by populations that have traditionally been underrepresented in biomedical research,” said Olveen Carrasquillo M.D., M.P.H., principal investigator and engagement and clinical lead for All of Us research at the University of Miami.

The All of Us program reached a major milestone with the recent launch of the Researcher Workbench Database, which provides investigators across the University of Miami and other participating institutions with access to raw and curated data, saving time and resources and accelerating research breakthroughs.

“Only such a diverse national study at unprecedented scale has the scientific power to unlock personalized medicine for rare and common ailments, well-being, aging, and more,” said Stephan Züchner, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation Department of Human Genetics and lead principal investigator for the SEEC. “Consequently, this research will ultimately benefit ‘all of us.’"

How does it work?

Participants provide bio samples during one clinic visit, and complete online questionnaires over the course of five to 10 years. Researchers then analyze different types of information in participants’ DNA, including ancestry, traits (such as loving or hating cilantro), relative risk of developing serious health conditions, and other health-related information. They can then study how biology, lifestyle, and environment affect health, to develop better treatments and ways to prevent diseases.

Participants can also opt to receive information related to some of their DNA results.

The program is open to anyone above the age of 18, regardless of race or ethnicity, health status, education, or income level. Anyone interested in participating can sign up through the All of Us online portal at www.joinallofus.org or call (305) 243-8380.