You can be part of a nationwide gene testing study that is taking place right here in Grand Rapids.

Researchers from the National Institutes of Health are hoping it's a way to speed up medical research especially for life threatening illnesses.

The research program is called All of Us and it's being conducted through the National Institutes of Health.

Spectrum Health is one of the research sites. The program is expected to last ten years. And they are currently looking for anyone who is interested in donating their time by answering a questionnaire, taking your physical measurements and giving blood or urine samples as part of the study. You would be expected to commit to the full ten years.

So, what happens to all this data you share?

It goes to the National Institutes of Health researchers who remove your name and attach a number to it so all your information is kept private and secure.

And while you may not see the benefit of the research but your children most likely will. This is the first step towards what's called Precision Medicine, which tailor’s your health care depending on where you live, lifestyle and genes. Instead of having a one size fits all approach to health care.

The health data you share will be added to the All of Us research program database. Researchers around the world will be able to access and conduct studies based on the data.

They are hoping to find out how things like environment, lifestyle and genes can impact health.
Anyone can join the All of Us research program, they need a million people to participate.