4 NYC medical centers receive NIH precision medicine grants

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The National Institutes of Health has granted four New York City-based hospitals $46.5 million over the course of five years to advance precision medicine as part of the White House's Precision Medicine Initiative.

The recipient organizations include NewYork Presbyterian, NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem, ColumbiaUniversityMedicalCenter and Weill Cornell Medicine. CUMC is one of the hospitals that will help form the infrastructure of the Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort Program, which will amass a base of at least one million volunteers across the country to have their genomes mapped in the interest of forwarding clinical knowledge of cancer and other diseases. Wellness and preventive medicine are also focuses of the PMI.

"Precision medicine has the power to fundamentally change the way we understand and treat some of the world's most challenging diseases," Augustine M.K. Choi, MD, interim dean of Weill Cornell Medicine, said in a statement announcing the grant. "This NIH grant … will ensure that we are better able to understand the key genetic and other biological drivers of disease and ultimately improve the lives of our patients."

The PMI launched in 2015. At the time, the Obama administration estimated it would take 3-4 years to build a volunteer cohort of one million individuals. In addition to those taking part in the White House-led PMI, many healthcare organizations have launched their own precision medicine programs with the aim of better understanding factors that contribute to disease and wellness and applying that knowledge to their local populations. 

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