Alexander: NIH Announcement Puts Vanderbilt “Front and Center in President’s Precision Medicine Initiative”

Posted on July 7, 2016

WASHINGTON, July 7 – Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today congratulated Vanderbilt University Medical Center for receiving a $71.6 million grant – the largest it has ever received – to support research for the President’s Precision Medicine Initiative.

“This puts Vanderbilt’s medical facilities front and center in the national drive for the President’s Precision Medicine Initiative both in terms of storing the data and conducting the research,” said Senator Alexander. “This could lead to remarkable benefits over time in finding new cures for Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and other diseases and advancing the right treatment for the right person at the right time. This is a great credit to Vanderbilt’s research, leadership, and talent. This shows promise for the improving the quality of life for millions of Americans.”

Background:

According to NIH, the Data and Research Support Center grant awarded to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, will acquire, organize and provide secure access to what will be one of the world’s largest and most diverse datasets for precision medicine research. They will also provide research support for the scientific data and analysis tools for the program, helping to build a community of researchers from community colleges to top healthcare research institutions and industries, and including citizen scientists, who can propose studies using this information.

During his State of the Union in January 2015, the president announced a Precision Medicine Initiative – a plan to map the genomes of 1 million volunteers and make the data available to researchers working to develop treatments and cures tailored to each individual patient, rather than one-size-fits-all treatments.

Today’s grant is in addition to the $1.2 million award to Vanderbilt University received in February to partner with Google in creating a pilot program to gather the genomes of 1 million Americans.

Senator Alexander commented then: “This partnership between Vanderbilt and Google is good news for millions who will benefit from personalized medicine. This is also a big compliment to Vanderbilt, a university at the forefront of biomedical research. I’m committed to supporting the president’s precision medicine initiative through our Senate health committee’s innovation agenda to ensure Americans can take advantage of this remarkable time in science.”

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 For access to this release and Chairman Alexander’s other statements, click here.