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Medical study to tailor treatments and drugs to lifestyles, genetics

2 doctors in the clinical room doing some experiments

South Florida’s ethnic diversity will play a key role in an ambitious, five-year medical research effort aimed at making treatments and drugs more effective by tailoring them to the lifestyles, genetics and environment of individual patients.

Led by the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine and funded by a $60 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, a group of academic institutions in Florida and Georgia — including the University of Florida, Emory University, and Morehouse School of Medicine — have begun to recruit 100,000 people from the Southeastern United States to participate in a nationwide research program called “All of Us.”

The program’s goal is to recruit one million or more U.S. residents over the next five years — including 40,000 from South Florida — to help create a rich pool of data that will account for individual differences in genetics, behavior and geography in biomedical research. That database will then be used for future studies into a wide variety of health conditions and to help scientists develop more precise medical interventions.

Until now, most biomedical research has been conducted primarily with non-Hispanic white subjects, mostly men, though the U.S. Census shows that minorities make up nearly 40 percent of the population.

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