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These are uncertain times for the National Institutes of Health, which is facing serious threats to its funding. That’s led to questions about the future of  NIH’s big projects, such as the Precision Medicine Initiative.

The Obama-era initiative aims to recruit 1 million volunteers with diverse backgrounds, and probe their genetic and health data. The hope is to gain new insight into how disease manifests — and how best to treat it.


The PMI is still in early testing and moving cautiously, conducting beta test after beta test in a group of about 5,000 volunteers at Vanderbilt University. Until it has the IT security, biobanking, recruitment, and analysis infrastructure in place, it will not draw blood, said Eric Dishman, the Silicon Valley alum who leads the PMI.

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