Precision medicine enters a new phase

It takes a million people to discern the health strategies for one individual–at least, that’s the thinking behind the latest phase of the NIH’s Precision Medicine Initiative. This initiative was first proposed by NIH Director Francis Collins more than a decade ago. It became a reality this January, when President Obama announced his support of it in his State of the Union address, noting that its goal is “to bring us closer to curing diseases like cancer and diabetes, and to give all of us access to the personalized information we need to keep ourselves and our families healthier.”

To meet this challenge, Collins convened a working group to discuss how to create and manage a research cohort of more than one million Americans across the spectrum of diversity. That’s a large cohort to manage, so the group received input from a wide variety of stakeholders, and now they’ve published a report recommending the best ways to find the molecular, environmental, and behavioral factors that contribute to disease–as well as to find the most effective treatments. You can read the NIH’s statement on the Precision Medicine Initiative here, and see more at Science Insider.