As part of its All of Us research program, the US National Institutes of Health is investigating the COVID-19 pandemic within Black and Latino communities, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The All of Us program aims to enroll 1 million Americans, with a particular focus on recruiting individuals from typically underrepresented populations to collect genetic and other data to fuel personalized medicine studies. It began broad enrollment in May 2018. As the LA Times notes, many biomedical research projects have relied on participants who are typically white, male, and well-to-do. As of early March, more than 339,000 people had consented to participate in the project.
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the All of Us researchers are tapping into their cohort to learn how the disease has affected Black and Latino communities, which have been harder hit by the outbreak, the LA Times reports.
"We will really be able to layer a number of kinds of information on what's happening to different populations and try to drive at some of that 'Why?' Are there genetic differences, differences in prior medical history, timing of testing?" Josh Denny, the chief executive of the project, tells the LA Times.