TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama’s College of Community Health Sciences will kick off its participation in the national All of Us Research Program, a landmark effort to advance individualized care, prevention and treatment for people of all backgrounds, Thursday, May 10 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the parking lot of the University Medical Center.
The All of Us Journey is a mobile, interactive exhibit where visitors can explore the All of Us Research Program that is part of the National Institutes of Health’s effort to advance research into precision medicine, which is an emerging approach to disease treatment and prevention that considers differences in people’s lifestyles, environments and biological makeup.
The traveling exhibit is making stops at All of Us Program locations throughout the U.S. The College’s Institute for Rural Health Research is participating in the Southern All of Us Network location, of which UAB is the lead institution.
The All of Us Journey exhibits includes a video; exploration stations and activities that provide an overview and examples of precision medicine; a story wall where attendees can affix post-it notes and share their health stories; a photobooth with props; and an enrollment center that provides attendees the opportunity to sign up to participate in the All of Us Program. Those 19 and older, regardless of health status, will be able to enroll.
Dr. Francis Collins, director of NIH, says the All of Us Research Program will change the way research is done.
“What we’re doing with the All of Us Research Program is intersecting with other fundamental changes in medicine and research to empower Americans to live healthier lives,” said Collins. “The time is now to transform how we conduct research – with participants as partners – to shed new light on how to stay healthy and manage disease in more personalized ways.”
The goal of the All of Us Program is to enroll 1 million individuals living in the U.S., including within communities that have traditionally been underrepresented in research, and gather their health information and data over time. The data will be used to learn more about the health impact of differences in lifestyle, environment and biological makeup. By partnering with a vast number of individuals who share information about themselves over many years, the All of Us Research Program will enable research to more precisely prevent and treat a variety of health conditions. The program is expected to last at least 10 years.
Participants will be asked to share different types of health and lifestyle information, through online surveys and electronic health records, and that information will continue to be collected over the course of the program. Data from the program will be broadly accessible for research purposes.
The NIH has funded more than 100 organizations throughout the U.S. to be partners in the program. To date, more than 25,000 participants have enrolled in the All of Us Research Program.
The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.