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All of Us Research Program provides diverse genetic data to researchers about health outcomes

Story By Meghan Mamlock
Local News Published 01/21/2021 6:09PM
Madison - U-W Health is recruiting people who want to learn what they're made of literally.

"All of Us" is a nationwide research program run by the National Institutes of Health.

It's designed to help researchers and participants learn how their DNA may affect their body's response to certain types of medicines as well as their risk for different types of diseases. 
"The goal is to better understand what makes us unique, whether it's our occupation, our genetics, our lifestyle, our family history, all these things that," said Scotthebbring.

10 university-linked healthcare systems are working together on "All of Us".

Wisconsin already has 12 thousand participants signed up but they're hoping to reach 100-thousand. 

They say the state is perfect for this study because of its wide mix of ethnicities, and both rural and urban communities.

"The goal is to fully represent the US population. We've been asked in our work to make sure 40 percent of our sample comes from underrepresented groups," said Farrah-Edwards. "The goal is to create a fully representative database with all this incredible valuable information."

Researchers aim to better understand the risk factors of disease and create plans for how to treat them but participants get other benefits, too.

"Participants who volunteer their DNA can gain access to information about themselves including their ancestry based on their genetic information as well as some certain human traits like why their urine may or may not smell after eating asparagus for example," said Scotthebbring.

There are currently 300 thousand plus participants from all over the country that are contributing blood and saliva samples for science but also can help them with their health as they will receive their genetic results back. 
For more information or to sign up you can visit the "All of Us" Research Program website.
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