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VUMC lands $71.6M federal grant to establish precision medicine center

Nashville-based Vanderbilt University Medical Center will receive a $71.6 million federal grant to establish a center dedicated to innovations in precision medicine, according to The Tennessean. It is the largest monetary grant of its kind issued by the federal government.

The grant comes from the National Institutes of Health. The center will be home to research and development efforts to create treatments tailored specifically to a person's genome.

VUMC will serve as the data and research support center for the Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort program. Other centers that received funding will stand as recruitment centers to encourage individuals to volunteer for the program.

While precision medicine is currently used in oncology to treat cancers and tumors, the goal of the federal initiative is to map the genome of one million Americans to better understand how to tailor medical treatments to the individual for better, more personal treatment. President Obama announced the initiative in his 2015 State of the Union address.

VUMC also received two other grants related to the program: one to be used in partnership with Durham, N.C.-based DukeUniversity to construct a trial innovation center, the other to fund the medical system's initiative to boost enrollment in the trial study.

Dr. Jeff Balser, president and CEO of VUMC, acknowledged the impact the grant will have not only on the medical center, but its impact on the community and the state at large in an interview with The Tennessean.

"This competitive grant, the largest in our history, will generate substantial economic impact for Tennessee, while firmly anchoring Vanderbilt and Nashville as a national hub for personalized medicine," said Mr. Balser.

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