Nationwide research program in search of 100k Wisconsin residents from all backgrounds

Health records released to All of Us Program will inform scientific research

By Eliabeth Dohms, Wisconsin Public Radio

A health care project with a goal of speeding up health research is in search of 100,000 volunteers in Wisconsin.

The state effort is part of a larger campaign, All Of Us, that is hoping to enroll 1 million people across the country who will provide access to their electronic health records and other data that will populate a bank of health information.

Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the program has partnered with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Marshfield Clinic and the Medical College of Wisconsin to recruit Wisconsin volunteers of diverse backgrounds.

Scientists have a specific goal for the data collected, explained Dorothy Farrar-Edwards, a principal investigator for the All of Us-Wisconsin. That’s to look for patterns in DNA in search of medical breakthroughs.

It’s a launching point into a specific area of care called precision medicine where prevention, diagnoses and treatments are tailored to a person’s genetic characteristics.

“In order to be able to do that more effectively, we need a lot of data from a lot of people in order to drive this process forward,” Farrar-Edwards said.

Researchers know there are genetic components to many types of chronic diseases, she said. For example, African Americans are at a significantly greater risk than Caucasians for developing Alzheimer’s disease. This research could help point to why, she said. Read more …

This story is a recap of the “All of Us” at UW-Madison program’s appearance on WPR’s “The Larry Meiller Show”. You can listen to that interview in its entirety here.