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National Institutes of Health kicks off exhibit’s national tour at Ohio State

The National Institutes of Health’s “All of Us Journey” traveling exhibit kicks off its national tour at Ohio State this week. | Photo: Courtesy of the Health Sciences Library

The Ohio State Health Sciences Library is hosting the first stop of a national tour of a new research program from the National Institutes of Health this week called, “All of Us Journey.”

All of Us is a research program created to serve as a foundation for precision medicine, which is disease treatment and prevention that incorporates differences in genes, environments and lifestyle for individual patients. Since the Health Sciences Library won the “All of Us” Community Engagement Network Ambassador Program Award, it will host the first stop of the traveling exhibit.

“The All of Us Research Program aims to build one of the largest, most diverse datasets of its kind for health research, with one million or more volunteers nationwide who will sign up to share their information over time,” Lynda Hartel, director of the Health Sciences Library, said in an email. “Researchers will be able to access participants’ de-identified information for what could be thousands of studies to learn more about the biological, behavioral and environmental factors that influence health and disease.”

To help kick off the award, the mobile exhibit will provide hands-on, museum-style activities to raise awareness about precision medicine, Hartel said. It will also be equipped with resources for people aged 18 years and older to enroll in the program by providing physical measurements and urine and blood samples, according to the All of Us website.

“The All of Us program is seeking a rich, diverse group of participants. This is because differences in age, gender, ethnicity, lifestyle habits, and where we live can reveal important insights about our health,” Hartel said.

The goal of the research project is to create a database of the health data of at least one million people for researchers to access in order to study how different environmental, genetic and lifestyle factors impact health, according to the project’s website.

The information participants provide is protected information and any identifiable information will be removed from data accessible to researchers, Hartel said. The health information is managed by the Vanderbilt University Medical Center and biological samples are under the care of a special Mayo Clinic facility.

Hartel said that the mission of NIH’s research project ties in with the long-time goal of the Wexner Medical Center to provide personalized medicine, and with the award the Health Sciences Library received, the library will be able to continue outreach efforts in the community about precision medicine, addiction, mental health, obesity and chronic conditions.

The All of Us Journey mobile exhibit will be at the Wexner Medical Center Plaza outside of the Health Sciences Library entrance June 11 and 12 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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