NIH awards $142M to Mayo Clinic for precision medicine biobank

On Thursday, the National Institutes of Health announced that it will award the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., $142 million to create the world's largest research-cohort biobank for President Barack Obama's Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort Program.

The PMI Cohort Program is a study that aims to enroll at least 1 million U.S. participants in research to advance precision medicine and facilitate a more comprehensive understanding of the biological differences that contribute to health and disease among the population. The biospecimens collected in the new biobank will undergo laboratory analysis and genetic testing. This information will work in tandem with other information provided by volunteers such as lifestyle and health questionnaires, medication history, electronic health records, physical exams and environmental exposures.

"This range of information at the scale of 1 million people will be an unprecedented resource for researchers working to understand all the factors that influence health and disease," said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD. "The more we understand about individual differences, the better able we will be to tailor the prevention and treatment of illness."

The Mayo Clinic will house more than 35 million specimens for the project, using their state-of-the-art laboratory automation and robotics for retrieval and processing.

Stephen N. Thibodeau, PhD, co-director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine Biorepositories Program, said, "We are delighted that our state-of-the-art facilities will serve as an active, vital research resource for the 1 million participant biospecimen collection. The Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine is committed to embracing the potential of precision medicine to improve healthcare."

More articles on NIH funding:
NIH grants University of Washington $2M for hookworm vaccine trial  
NIH names John Hopkins center of excellence for bioethics research  
Wisconsin company wins NIH grant to study RCM strategies 



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