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NIH Adds Four Medical Center Groups to Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort Program

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The National Institutes of Health announced today that it has added four regional medical center groups to the network of healthcare provider organizations (HPOs) managing participant enrollment in the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI).

One of the key goals of the PMI is to enroll a cohort of up to one million American volunteers who will contribute their genetic and other biomedical information to the program. In July, the NIH named the first HPOs to join the program, and has tapped the Scripps Research Institute to lead the initiative's Participant Technologies Center.

The NIH has now expanded the HPO network to include the California Precision Medicine Consortium, which includes the University of California, San Diego; Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; San Diego Blood Bank; the University of California, Davis; University of California Health; the University of California, Irvine; the University of California, San Francisco; and the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

The other new HPOs are the New England Precision Medicine Consortium, which includes Partners HealthCare System, Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston University, and Boston Medical Center; the Trans-American Consortium for the Healthcare Systems Research Network, which is made up of the Henry Ford Health System, the Baylor Scott and White Research Institute, Essentia Health, Spectrum Health, and University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester; and the Geisinger Health System.

The new HPOs will receive a combined $5.5 million in initial funding to begin PMI volunteer recruitment and to build out required infrastructure. As their efforts advance, these centers may receive first-year funds up to $16 million, the NIH said.

"We want this program to be open to everyone across the United States," Eric Dishman, director of the PMI Cohort Program, said in a statement. "These additional health care provider organizations will help us in our efforts to reach communities that have been underrepresented in research."