U Michigan to pursue precision health through interdisciplinary research initiative

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Mark Schlissel, president of the Ann Arbor-based University of Michigan, unveiled a campuswide precision health research initiative at his annual leadership breakfast Oct. 3.

The interdisciplinary initiative will bring together biomedical, social science and other data-driven expertise from the university to identify what factors influence an individual's health and how these insights can inform personalized prevention, diagnosis and treatment recommendations.

The initiative's first project centers on opioid prescribing trends. Through analyzing behavioral, genomic, environmental and social information, the researchers will attempt to detect risk factors that increase the likelihood of opioid misuse.

The precision health effort will also tap social work researchers to investigate the social implications of precision health approaches and law school faculty to examine potential privacy concerns. In total, more than 19 of the university's schools and programs will be involved in the initiative.

"The University of Michigan is perfectly positioned to be a global leader in precision health because of our spectacular breadth and collaborative ethos," Mr. Schlissel said.

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