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UMMS, regional partners launch All of Us Research Program in Central Massachusetts

National Institutes of Health initiative will inform precision medicine research

By Sandra Gray

UMass Medical School Communications

March 26, 2019
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Mara Epstein, ScD, is the site principal investigator for All of Us.

UMass Medical School is collaborating with Central Massachusetts health care providers in the National Institutes of Health All of Us Research Program. All of Us is a historic effort to gather data from one million or more people living in the United States to uncover paths toward delivering precision medicine, which is health care tailored to the individual receiving it. The data collected will become a national resource for investigators to find better ways to predict, prevent and treat disease.

“Making strides in fighting disease depends to a large extent on a greater understanding of our individual health, everyday habits, family history and genetic background,” said Mara M. Epstein, ScD, assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Geriatric Medicine and the Meyers Primary Care Institute at UMMS, and the site principal investigator for All of Us. “The All of Us Research Program is building one of the largest biomedical resources to investigate how health is affected by lifestyle, environment and biology.”

All of Us has partnered with NIH’s National Network of Libraries to help include people from communities that have been traditionally underrepresented in research and make sure people who may not have access to the internet have a chance to participate or learn more about the program at their local library. The New England Region of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine is housed in the Lamar Soutter Library at UMass Medical School.

“With its goal to be sure participants are well informed and intellectually and physically capable to participate in All of Us, the National Library of Medicine Community Engagement Network is focused on community outreach to foster health literacy, especially among the underserved, via public libraries and other community organizations,” said Martha Meacham, MLS, associate director of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, New England Region.

UMass Medical School has partnered with Reliant Medical Group to enroll All of Us participants in the Central Massachusetts region. On-campus enrollment clinics at UMass Medical School will be held in the Clinical Research Center on the first floor of the Ambulatory Care Center on April 10, April 16 and April 25 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with additional dates planned for later this year. Appointments are available and walk-ins are welcome. Learn more about All of Us and call 508-595-2267 or visit www.joinallofus.org/transamerica to enroll.

“There is enormous potential for the groundbreaking All of Us Research Program to change the future of medical care by helping to develop a more personalized approach to medicine,” Epstein said. “I believe the exceptional data resources created from this program will help advance medical research for years to come.”

Related stories on UMassMedNow:
UMass Medical School joins White House precision medicine initiative
Meyers Primary Care Institute celebrates 20 years

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