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Needed: A Million Willing Volunteers

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Want to take part in the largest, most diverse national health study ever? National Institutes of Health has opened enrollment for All of Us—an effort to advance health care for people of all backgrounds.

Volunteers 18 and older, regardless of health status, can join the more than 60,000 participants who have already enrolled. The aim is to enlist 1 million or more volunteers, especially from communities that have been underrepresented in research.

“All of Us has the potential to speed the ongoing transformation of our health care systems, empower individuals to actively manage their health and health care, and promote critical research,” says Michael Zwick, associate professor of human genetics and pediatrics and assistant vice president for research in Emory’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center.

Zwick is leading Emory’s participation in the study, working with Alvaro Alonso, from Rollins School of Public Health, as well as School of Medicine faculty Greg Martin, Arshed Quyyumi, James Lah, and Andrew Post.

The study will look at personal characteristics of participants, who will be asked to fill out online surveys that focus on home, work, family life, and mental health. Some will be asked to provide information from wearable devices, which can be used to track blood pressure, heart rate, sleep cycles, and exercise.

Volunteers may also be asked to give blood and urine samples that could help reveal how environmental threats—like toxins and air pollution—activate genes that cause disease.

Personal information will be coded for anonymity and volunteers can choose which tests and surveys to participate in. The information gathered will create a huge database that scientists can use to explore why people get sick or stay healthy. To join, email allofus@emory.edu or call 404-778-1284. For more information about the national study, go to JoinAllofUs.org

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