Genetic counseling available to All of Us participants in the future
The NIH has tapped digital genetic counseling company Color to provide the service. Participants of the National Institutes of Health’s All of Us program — a national research project dedicated to collecting data from a diverse population for prevention and treatment of diseases — will now have access to more insights about their genes thanks to a partnership between the program and digital genetic counseling company Color. The NIH awarded the California-based company $4.6 million in funding.
A year after launching, the NIH has reached one-fifth of its end goal of enrolling 1 million people in the US.
“Returning results in a responsible way is integral to what All of Us stands for,” Eric Dishman, director of All of Us, said in a statement. “Participants are our partners in research, who may want to receive their own health data, including genomics. The genetic counseling resource will help our participants interpret and act upon their health information.”
Eventually Color will be providing program participants with findings on ancestry, traits, drug-gene interactions (pharmacogenomics) and genes connected with high-risk diseases. For example, researchers predict a small percentage of participants will have the BRCA1 gene, which is linked to breast cancer. Genetic counseling can provide these participants with action steps.