Mayo Part of Genetic Biobank for Precision Medical Initiative; Samples Would Allow Use of Individuals' Makeup in Diagnosis and Treatment

By Patton, Charlie | The Florida Times Union, May 28, 2016 | Go to article overview

Mayo Part of Genetic Biobank for Precision Medical Initiative; Samples Would Allow Use of Individuals' Makeup in Diagnosis and Treatment


Patton, Charlie, The Florida Times Union


Byline: Charlie Patton

The Mayo Clinic will receive $142 million from the National Institutes of Health over the next five years to establish a national genetic biobank as part of the Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort program.

The program's goal will be to establish a repository of genetic samples from 1 million people that will be available to researchers. Precision medicine, also known as individualized medicine, is an approach that uses a patient's genetic makeup to diagnose diseases and establish courses of treatment.

The Precision Medicine Initiative was launched in 2015 by President Barack Obama, who said precision medicine could "bring us closer to curing diseases like cancer and diabetes, and to give us all access to the personalized information we need to keep ourselves and our families healthy."

The Mayo Clinic is a pioneer in the development of precision medicine, which has been the focus of a great deal of research ever since the Human Genome Project, launched in 1990, successfully mapped the genetic makeup of human beings, a process that took 13 years and cost $3 billion.

"We've understood for a long time the value of biorepositories," said Alexander Parker, associate director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine, who works at Mayo's Jacksonville campus. "... That movement is transforming the way we practice medicine."

While the largest part of the biobank will be located at Mayo's campus in Rochester, Minn. …

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