Obama asks Congress to Fund $215m Personalized Medicine Initiative

President Obama asked Congress Friday to fund a new personalized medicine venture he’ll propose in his upcoming budget request, saying it’s one area where both parties could work together.

The capstone of the $215 million initiative would be creating a research group of one million volunteers, giving scientists a massive pool of data to analyze individuals’ genomes and how they compare to each other.

“If we have a big pool of people that’s varied, that will really allow us to map out not only the genome of one person but now we can start seeing connections and correlations that will help us refine what we’re trying to do when it comes to treatment,” Obama said at the White House.

Major aims of the project would be finding the genetic mutations that lead to cancer and developing ways to evaluate cutting-edge genetic tests, the president said. The National Institutes of Health would take the lead on creating the research pool, while smaller amounts of funding would be funneled to the National Cancer Institute, the FDA and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.