Precision medicine and genomics are transforming how we prevent, characterize, and identify the right therapies to treat disease. Genomic sequencing has massively increased our access to data regarding human health and enabled a detailed understanding of genetic variation, microbiome composition, and molecular interactions. This along with powerful computational tools, allows us to make greater inferences of disease causality. We can now examine a patient’s health more wholistically and incorporate multiple genomic datasets with a patient’s lifestyle, environment, and medical history to better treat them at the individual level.

We are on the forefront of fostering multidisciplinary efforts to fight disease. We partner with HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology on a transformative project called the Alabama Genomic Health Initiative (AGHI). Funded by the state of Alabama, the AGHI provides genomic testing, interpretation, and counseling free of charge to Alabama residents. The goal of the program is to engage at least 10,000 Alabamians in genetic testing, while educating the participants about their genomic health. The initiative has entered a new phase and is evaluating the value of embedding genomic medicine into the primary/family care model. Participants in the study are now enrolled to coincide with their clinical care, in order to inform that ongoing health care with the goal of improving preventive care and generating more informed physician decision-making around medications. Participants will receive genetic screening for a number of disease risks as well as a pharmacogenetic report on current medications and guidance on potential future medications. This new strategy is launching at UAB Highlands Family Medicine with plans to extend to UAB Hoover and UAB Selma Family Medicine by the close of 2021.

The Hugh Kaul Precision Medicine Institute (PMI) aims to enhance the delivery of precision medicine by assembling and supporting UAB researchers and clinicians in an interdisciplinary program aimed at discovering and applying new knowledge in order to better treat patients with complex disease. At PMI, a team of experts approaches patient cases individually, and integrating traditional approaches in medicine, genomic sequencing, and artificial intelligence (AI) reasoning to expedite the discovery of novel therapeutics. The overall goal is to bring new precision medicine approaches to the clinic as rapidly as possible.

The All of Us Research Program is reimagining the idea that health is not one-size-fits-all. All of Us is supported by the National Institutes of Health with a goal of accelerating health research and medical breakthroughs and enabling individualized prevention. The program will oversample communities that have been underrepresented in biomedical research to make the program’s dataset the largest, most diverse resource of its kind.

The goal of the All of Us Research Program is to help researchers understand more about what makes people get sick or stay healthy. The hope is for one million or more people to join, who willingly will share information about their health, habits, and home environment, potentially including family history, DNA, and genetics. Researchers will use this information to formulate studies, which may help improve health for everyone.

The future of UAB’s precision medicine infrastructure is the upcoming construction of the Altec Styslinger Genomic Medicine and Data Sciences Building. This state-of-the-art facility will help cement our reputation as a leading research institution in genomic and precision medicine.