The All of Us Research Program (link is external), part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded $4.6 million in initial funding to Color (link is external), a health technology company in Burlingame, California, to establish the program’s nationwide genetic counseling resource. With the goal of speeding up health research breakthroughs, All of Us plans to sequence the genomes of 1 million participants from diverse communities across the United States. Through this funding, Color’s network of genetic counselors will help participants understand what the genomic testing results mean for their health and their families.
“Returning results in a responsible way is integral to what All of Us stands for,” said All of Us Director Eric Dishman. “Participants are our partners in research, who may want to receive their own health data, including genomics. The genetic counseling resource will help our participants interpret and act upon their health information.”
As one of the most ambitious research programs in history, the All of Us Research Program aims to create the largest and most diverse health research resource of its kind. Participants from all parts of the country share health information over time through surveys, electronic health records and more. Some participants also are invited to contribute blood and urine samples for analysis. Researchers will be able to use this data to learn more about how biology, behavior and environment influence health and disease, which may lead to discoveries on how to further individualize health care in the future.
This award is in addition to Color’s ongoing funding in collaboration with the Broad Institute and Harvard’s Laboratory of Molecular Medicine, Cambridge, Massachusetts, which together received one of the three All of Us genome center awards announced in September 2018. As centers prepare to begin genotyping and whole genome sequencing in coming months, participants will be able to decide whether to receive test results.