Mayo Clinic said on Wednesday that when the National Institutes of Health opens public enrollment for its All of Us Research Program on May 6, it will serve as the precision medicine program’s biobank. 

Mayo Clinic is one of more than 100 organizations across the country funded by the NIH to partner in the program. The NIH awarded Mayo $142 million in funding over five years to serve as the nation's biobank.

"The work we are doing with NIH allows us to collect health data from groups that have traditionally been underrepresented in research studies, such as women and minorities," Mayo CEO John Noseworthy, MD, said in a statement. "This new effort will allow U.S. researchers using the All of Us Research Program biobank at Mayo Clinic to translate findings that represent the diversity of our citizens."

Mayo Clinic will store 35 samples from each participant at the All of Us Research Program biobank at Mayo Clinic. The samples add up to 35 million biospecimens.

"The cohort will represent the country in all of its aspects,” added Stephen Thibodeau, Co-principal Investigator of the All of Us Research Program biobank funding award and Director of Mayo Clinic Biorepositories Program, Center for Individualized Medicine. “It’s important to look at underrepresented populations and to consider how discoveries translate to the population as a whole.”

To prepare for the national launch, Mayo doubled the size of its 35,000-square-foot facility in Minnesota for processing, storage and distribution. It also expanded Mayo's facility in Florida, which will store 8-10 million samples in the collection to protect them from a localized natural disaster.

The Mayo Medical Laboratories U.S. network includes all 50 states, with more than 300 couriers nationwide. Mayo Medical Laboratories has long-standing relationships with major logistic providers to ensure the shortest transit time possible for specimens.

All of Us participants will be able to access their own health information, summary data about the entire participant community, and information about studies and findings that come from All of Us. Data from the program will be broadly accessible for research.

"The time is now to transform how we conduct research, with participants as partners, to shed new light on how to stay healthy and manage disease in more personalized ways,” said NIH director Francis Collins, MD. “This is what we can accomplish through All of Us.” 

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