National Institutes of Health Awards $55 Million to Launch Million-Person Precision Medicine Study

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded $55 million in funding for fiscal year 2016 to launch the Cohort Program of President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI).

The awards will support partnerships for:

  • Data and Research Support Center: Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, and the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, will work with Verily Life Sciences (formerly Google Life Sciences) to acquire, organize, and provide secure access to the precision medicine research dataset. They will also provide research support for the scientific data and analysis tools for the program.
  • Participant Technologies Center: Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, California, and Vibrent Health in Fairfax, Virginia, will develop, test, maintain, and upgrade the PMI Cohort Program mobile applications, which will be used to enroll, consent, collect data from, and communicate with PMI Cohort Program participants.
  • Healthcare Provider Organizations (HPOs): NIH will build a network of HPOs (including regional and national medical centers, community health centers, and Veterans Affairs medical centers) to ensure that PMI participants represent the geographic, ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic diversity of the country. The regional medical centers include:
    • Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, NY
    • Northwestern University in Chicago, IL
    • University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ
    • University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, PA

In addition, six Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs; community-based HPOs that reach underserved areas and populations) have been selected for a pilot program to determine infrastructure needs. Recipients include:

  • Cherokee Health Systems in Knoxville, TN
  • Community Health Center, Inc., in Middletown, CT
  • Eau Claire Cooperative Health Center in Columbia, SC
  • HRHCare, Peekskill in New York, NY
  • Jackson-Hinds Comprehensive Health Center, Jackson, Mississippi
  • San Ysidro Health Center in San Ysidro, CA

Earlier this year, the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, was tasked with building the PMI Cohort Program Biobank, which will support the collection, analyses, storage, and distribution for research use of biospecimens.

With these partnerships, NIH expects to begin initial enrollment for the PMI Cohort Program in 2016, with the goal of enrolling ≥1 million U.S. participants by 2020.

Source: National Institutes of Health news release, July 6, 2016.