Wisconsin researchers join NIH in launching the All of Us research program to advance precision medicine

Milwaukee, May 2, 2018 – Three Wisconsin medical and scientific organizations – Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, and Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin – in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will open enrollment on May 6 for the All of Us Research Program, a momentous effort to advance individualized prevention, treatment and care for people of all backgrounds.

All of Us is focused on precision medicine, which is an emerging approach to disease treatment and prevention that considers differences in people's lifestyles, environments and biological makeup, including genes. By partnering with 1 million diverse people who share information about themselves over many years, All of Us will enable research to more precisely prevent and treat a variety of health conditions.

"All of us are unique, but today we live mostly in an era of  'one-size-fits-all' medicine," said Eric Dishman, director of All of Us. "I'm alive today because of precision medicine and I think everyone deserves that same opportunity no matter the color of your skin, your economic status, your age or your sex or gender. In other words, it will truly take all of us."

Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, and Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) will partner with BloodCenter of Wisconsin, part of Versiti, and regional Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) to aid in engagement and recruitment of research participants. BloodCenter of Wisconsin will educate and engage its thousands of blood donors for potential involvement in the program.

People ages 18 and older, regardless of health status, will be able to enroll. Participants are asked to share different types of health and lifestyle information, including through online surveys and electronic health records (EHRs), which will continue to be collected over the course of the program. At different times over the coming months and years, some participants will be asked to visit a local partner site to provide blood and urine samples and to have basic physical measurements taken, such as height and weight. The research program will include communities that have been underrepresented in research to make the program the largest, most diverse resource of its kind.

The Wisconsin program is one of 10 health care provider organizations across the country participating in the research program. It will represent the collaborative efforts of three fully-integrated regional health care systems and the largest provider of blood and blood products in Wisconsin to form a virtual statewide integrated delivery network.

Learn more about the All of Us Research Program.

"The All of Us Research Program represents an important opportunity for participants to contribute to the research that will guide medical treatment targeted to the uniqueness of individual patients. It is very important that this research is based on the experience of a wide variety of participants. MCW has the unique opportunity to engage populations that have traditionally been underrepresented in biomedical research to further advance patient care in the future through precision medicine," said Jeffrey Whittle, MD, professor general internal medicine. "Leading quality precision medicine initiatives such as All of Us, along with our researchers, physicians and partners, helps understand disease, improve diagnosis and advance patient care."

The Medical College of Wisconsin leads an NIH-funded regional coalition of academic and clinical institutions, the Clinical Translational Science Institute of Southeast Wisconsin, which has been repeatedly cited for its robust community engagement activities. This coalition will facilitate broad participation by all of Milwaukee’s diverse communities. The NIH award represents an opportunity to engage populations that have traditionally been underrepresented in biomedical research.

Those interested in participating in All of Us through Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin should call (414) 955-AOUW (2689) or email allofus@mcw.edu.

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