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Slowly Taking Form

US President Barack Obama is to announce further details today regarding the precision medicine initiative that he first mentioned during his State of the Union address earlier this month.

As GenomeWeb has reported, the announcement includes plans to develop a nation-wide cohort of a million people on whom medical record, genetic, metabolomic, lifestyle, and other data will be collected to enable a deeper understanding of disease and promote a new way of doing research, the White House says.

In his budget proposal to be released next week, Obama is to ask for $215 million for the entire initiative, $130 million of which will go to the National Institutes of Health toward developing this cohort.

Another $70 million will be requested to fund personalized medicine efforts at the National Cancer Institute, $10 million will be for the Food and Drug Administration to develop a regulatory framework, and $5 million will be for health information technology efforts to strengthen security and privacy standards.

"Many details about how this initiative is going to be designed and operated are still in the process of being worked out," NIH Director Francis Collins tells the New York Times. He adds that a panel of advisers will be convened to "help us put real specifics into what is now an exciting but somewhat general plan."