The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has selected the University of Iowa as one of four academic medical centers to represent the Midwest in the Heartland Consortium as part of their All of Us Research Program. Alejandro Comellas, MD, clinical professor in Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Occupational Medicine, has been named the principal investigator of the study, and Heather Schacht Reisinger, PhD, professor of internal medicine in the division of General Internal Medicine, will help lead the UI community engagement initiatives for the consortium.
All of Us is designed to advance more tailored patient care through the review of data collected from more than a million people in the United States. The Heartland Consortium will enroll over 6,000 participants throughout the region in its first year, focusing on equitable participation of those living in rural areas.
“The community engagement aspect is particularly important in ensuring retention of our participants by educating them and continuing to communicate with them on the progress of the program,” Comellas said.
“It is exciting to be part of this collaboration with NIH and with our neighboring states,” Reisinger said. “It is a recognition that when we do the work to include all of us, science is stronger and ultimately more impactful. Our team is looking forward to involving as many Iowans as possible in this important initiative.”
Because the study will collect data from such a diverse and large pool, the resulting database promises to act as a resource for researchers across many diseases and groups of people, effectively accelerating scientific discovery in the United States.