December 16, 2022

NIH’s All of Us Research Program returns health-related DNA results to participants

By Colette Gallagher

The National Institutes of Health's (NIH) All of Us Research Program has begun returning personalized health-related DNA results to more than 155,000 participants. The reports detail whether participants have an increased risk for specific health conditions and how their bodies might process certain medications.

The All of Us Research Program collects participants' blood, urine, and saliva samples. These biosamples are stored and managed for research at a specialized All of Us Research Program biobank at Mayo Clinic.

"It is rewarding for us at the biobank to see this significant milestone of the All of Us Research Program," says Mine Cicek, Ph.D., co-principal investigator of the biobank, Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine. "The biobank continues to play a critical role in the program and we are committed and excited for the future."

Since May 6, 2018, when the NIH opened national enrollment for the All of Us Research Program, over 10 million cumulative samples have been stored from participants for research purposes in the Biobank at Mayo Clinic, with 1.5 million of those samples stored in a backup facility in Florida.

In addition, Mayo Clinic is using the extensive biobank infrastructure established for the All of Us Research Program to support the Nutrition for Precision Health study, announced in January 2022. This new study develops algorithms to predict individual responses to food and dietary routines. It recruits a diverse pool of 10,000 participants who are part of the NIH's All of Us Research Program to inform more personalized nutrition recommendations.

"Knowledge is powerful. By returning health-related DNA information to participants, we are changing the research paradigm, turning it into a two-way street – fueling both scientific and personal discovery that could help individuals navigate their own health," said Josh Denny, M.D., CEO, of the All of Us Research Program. "This type of partnership with our participants is crucial for building trust and fulfilling the commitment we made to drive research that can offer meaningful insights for all." 

The program plans to increase the number of participants invited to receive genetic health-related results throughout 2023, including new participants who join the program.

Learn more

  • Watch a video about the All of Us Research Program biobank at Mayo Clinic
  • Visit JoinAllofUs.org for more information.

Tags: All of Us Research Program, biobank, center for individualized medicine, Genetics, genomic medicine, mayo clinic, medical research, National Institutes of Health, National Institutes of Health, Research

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