Research

You Could Be Part of a Gigantic Precision Medicine Study

It needs at least a million participants.
Broad Institute

Broad Institute Photo by Len Rubenstein/Provided

The National Institutes of Health is getting close to kicking off an enormous study that promises to propel precision medicine into the future.

The project, which is called All of Us and is part of the Precision Medicine Initiative, will enroll at least a million participants from across the country. The data collected from these individuals over the next 10-plus years—everything from DNA testing to height and weight measurements to periodic surveys about health and lifestyle habits—will provide researchers with insights about the relationships between genes, behavior, and environment, hopefully leading to new scientific breakthroughs and disease treatments.

All of Us is currently in an invitation-only pilot phase, but open enrollment is slated to begin early next year. At that point, just about anybody who’s interested in contributing to the project—and learning a little more about their own health—may sign up online or through a partner organization.

If you’re interested, you’re in luck. Many of those partner organizations are right here in Boston. On the healthcare provider side of things, the list includes Partners HealthCare and its flagship hospitals Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Boston University; and Boston Medical Center. Meanwhile, the Broad Institute will help oversee the massive data center associated with the project.

Interested in contributing? Keep your eye on joinallofus.org.


Jamie Ducharme Jamie Ducharme, Contributor jducharme@bostonmagazine.com