CCTS, ITM Support National Precision Medicine Initiative

University of Chicago Medicine & Rush University
Post date: 
August 23, 2016

The University of Illinois at Chicago is one of three Illinois academic institutions that will work together to help launch President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) Cohort Program to enroll 1 million or more participants in a national research effort designed to find better ways to prevent and treat disease based on lifestyle, environment and genetics.

A group of health care provider organizations led by Northwestern University, University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Chicago, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital and the Alliance of Chicago Community Health Services LLC — to be called the Illinois Precision Medicine Consortium — have signed on to enroll at least 150,000 participants, including healthy people and those with pre-existing diseases, over the coming 4.5 years. Precision medicine is a growing area of study that looks at how an individual’s genetics, environment and lifestyle influence disease treatment and prevention.

“This range of information at the scale of 1 million people from all walks of life will be an unprecedented resource for researchers working to understand all of the factors that influence health and disease,” said Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). “Over time, data provided by participants will help us answer important health questions, such as why some people with elevated genetic and environmental risk factors for disease still manage to maintain good health, and how people suffering from a chronic illness can maintain the highest possible quality of life,” Collins said. “The more we understand about individual differences, the better able we will be to effectively prevent and treat illness.”

In the first year, the NIH will provide $55 million in awards nationwide to assemble the partnerships and infrastructure needed for this unprecedented health care effort, called the PMI Cohort Program.