MEDICAL RESEARCH

Committee backs goal of 1 million for US 'precision medicine' project

U.S. President Barack Obama talks about investments to improve health and treat disease through precision medicine while in the East Room of the White House in Washington January 30, 2015. A 17 base pair DNA model is next to Obama.

U.S. President Barack Obama talks about investments to improve health and treat disease through precision medicine while in the East Room of the White House in Washington January 30, 2015. A 17 base pair DNA model is next to Obama.  (REUTERS/Larry Downing)

The initial goal to recruit 1 million Americans to analyze genetic information as part of the government's "precision medicine" initiative was backed in a final report delivered to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on Thursday.

The "precision medicine" initiative, announced in January by President Barack Obama, will involve a pool of people - healthy and ill, men and women, old and young - who will be studied to learn how genetic variants affect health and disease.

The report, authored by a working group that was created to lay out a blueprint for the initiative, suggested the pool of people to be studied should grow over time. (http://1.usa.gov/1YgI7Lj)

The group outlined two strategies for recruitment.

The first approach is designed to enable anybody living in the United States to volunteer; the second is to collaborate with healthcare providers to recruit participants.

An advisory committee to the NIH is expected to vote on the recommendations later on Thursday.