Got a Great Research Idea? “All of Us” Wants to Hear It!
Posted on by Dr. Francis Collins
One of the boldest undertakings that NIH has ever attempted, the All of Us Research Program has been hard at work in a “beta” testing phase, and is now busy gearing up for full recruitment in the spring. This historic effort will enroll 1 million or more people in the United States to share information about their health, habits, and what it’s like where they live. This information will be part of a resource that scientists can use to accelerate research and improve health. How? By taking into account individual differences in lifestyle, environment, and biology, researchers will uncover paths toward realizing the full potential of precision medicine.
Before embarking on this adventure, All of Us is reaching out to prospective researchers, community organizations, and citizen scientists—including people just like you—to get their input. Imagine that the project has already enrolled 1 million participants from all over the country and from diverse backgrounds. Imagine that they have all agreed to make available their electronic health records, to put on wearable sensors that can track body physiology and environmental exposures, and to provide blood samples for lab testing, including DNA analysis. Is there a particular research question that you think All of Us could help answer? Possible topics include risks of disease, factors that promote wellness, and research on human behavior, prevention, exercise, genetics, environmental health effects, health disparities, and more. To submit an idea, just go to this special All of Us web page.
All of Us is using a survey platform called IdeaScale to collect the ideas. To access it, you will need to register by clicking on the “register” link at the upper right corner of the web page. Registering doesn’t take long at all, and you will need to provide your name and email address. Once you’re registered, you can look over research questions submitted by others, comment on them, and join in to add your idea.
So, if you’ve got a few minutes, why not share your thoughts and help build the future of precision medicine? The deadline to submit ideas is February 23.
In March, all of these ideas will be discussed at a workshop hosted by the All of Us Research Program. Meeting attendees will use this input to set the key research priorities and requirements before the program begins wide-scale enrollment this spring.
Also, if you’re thinking about joining All of Us and want to learn more about the program, here’s some great background material to get you started. It’s one very important way that you, along with hundreds of thousands of other people from every walk of life, can participate in this historic project that will shape the future of medicine. As a matter of fact, Science magazine just selected All of Us as one of the scientific stories  that it predicts will make headlines in 2018!
 What’s Coming Up in 2018, Brainard J, Science. 2018 January 4 Cell. 2018 January 11; 172:1-14.