The National Institutes of Health (NIH) have awarded inaugural funding to three institutions to establish one of three new genome centres around the US for the All of Us Research Program. The announcement, which was made earlier this week, revealed a new partnership between the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, the Laboratory for Molecular Medicine (LMM) at Partners HealthCare, and Color Genomics, a genetic testing company from California.

“Color will be an essential partner to the Broad in this new endeavour,” said Stacey Gabriel, Senior Director of the Broad Institute Genomics Platform. “The depth and variety of data produced by All of Us will be an invaluable resource for gaining insights into health and disease. We are thrilled to be a part of this.”

The All of Us Research Program was first formulated by the NIH in 2015 with the intention of collecting genetic and health data from one million US citizens. The goal of the project is to accelerate health research and, in time, to enable individualised disease prevention, treatment, and care. In particular, it is hoped that the Program will be able to harness data from populations that have traditionally been underrepresented in clinical and genomic datasets.

Under the new partnership, Color, a population genomics technology company that offers DTC genetic testing, will be responsible for the analysis and reporting of genomic data. Specifically, they will be investigating a set of 59 genes known to be causally linked to serious and preventable conditions, including breast and ovarian cancer, familial hypercholesterolaemia, and Lynch syndrome. To ensure accurate results, Partners LMM will be providing expert support.

Color will also be providing pharmacogenomic results that explore patients’ responses to medications, based on clinical-grade genomic data supplied by the Broad Institute.

“We are honoured to be selected by the NIH, along with our exceptional partners at the Broad Institute and Partners LMM, to help implement this ground-breaking research program,” said Othman Laraki, CEO of Color Genomics, in a statement. “Since our founding, we have believed population genomics is the key to moving towards a data-driven and prevention- oriented model of care. All of Us is a tremendous opportunity to unlock the benefits of genetic information to better understand disease and help people live healthier lives.”