Precision Health Initiative

Precision Health

Precision Health Initiative

Indiana University School of Medicine’s Precision Health Initiative, selected as the first recipient of funding from the IU Grand Challenges Program will transform biomedical research, health care innovations and the delivery of health interventions in Indiana.

Developed by a team led by principal investigator Anantha Shekhar, MD, PhD, executive associate dean for research affairs, the goal of this initiative is to position IU School of Medicine and its partner institutions among leading universities in understanding and optimizing the prevention, onset, treatment, progression and health outcomes of human diseases through a more precise definition of the genetic, developmental, behavioral and environmental factors that contribute to an individual’s health.

The Precision Health Initiative will receive as much as $40 million in funding provided by the Grand Challenges Program and along with $80 million invested by IU School of Medicine. The Precision Health Initiative team expects to hire 39 new, full-time faculty members, including 22 at IU School of Medicine, 15 at IU Bloomington and two at IUPUI. The program will also support the creation of new facilities, centers and user platforms, including new gene editing and sequencing cores at IU School of Medicine, and a good manufacturing practice facility to produce cellular therapeutics. Also to be supported at School of Medicine are a cross-campus Center for Chemical Biology and Biotherapeutics, a Precision Health Data Commons, and a Precision Health Integration and Analytics Platform.

Precision Health Initiative Goals

The Precision Health Initiative is an ambitious plan that will cure at least one cancer through the development of new cell, gene and immune therapies. It will also develop novel disease-modifying or -prevention methods for adult neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease, and it will use gene and other therapies to cure at least one genetic pediatric disease. This initiative will work closely with several prominent business and community partners, including Eli Lilly and Co., Roche Diagnostics, Cook Regentec, Deloitte, Regenstrief Institute and IU Health.

Though the objectives are bold, the approach is true to the process of all scientific and medical discovery. To accomplish its Precision Health Initiative outcomes, IU School of Medicine will build new research programs; generate novel discovery platforms; create new and expanded degree, certificate and professional medical education programs; and bring transformative, patient-centered precision medicine therapies and prevention into clinical services.

Precision Health Implementation

Coordinated by a robust administrative architecture, the Precision Health Initiative will operate as five integrated virtual clusters across IU. These clusters include Genomic Medicine; Cell, Gene and Immune Therapy; Chemical Biology and Biotherapeutics; Data and Informatics Sciences; and Psychosocial, Behavioral and Ethics.

Each of the five Precision Health Clusters will develop new educational degree programs to create a future workforce necessary for transforming health care across Indiana and beyond. The initiative will also create a comprehensively characterized Precision Health Initiative cohort of subjects who will provide a rich resource for longitudinal data collection, population-based outcome studies, and many future biomarker and disease mechanism discoveries. The Precision Health Initiative will make IU School of Medicine and its partner institutions a leader in the field of health sciences and have a transformative effect on Indiana’s health and economy.

Learn more

For more information about the Precision Health Initiative, read the Precision Health Initiative Proposal and the news release  “IU announces first round of funding for $300 million Grand Challenges program to Precision Health” (June 20, 2016). To schedule an interview with an IU School of Medicine investigator, contact the Communications team.