Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Four Wisconsin medical and scientific organizations – Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin and BloodCenter of Wisconsin, part of Versiti – were awarded $60 million by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) June 29 to continue to implement the All of Us Research Program in Wisconsin through 2023, a momentous effort to advance individualized prevention, treatment and care for people of all backgrounds.
All of Us is focused on precision medicine, which is an emerging approach to disease treatment and prevention that considers differences in people’s lifestyles, environments and biological makeup, including genes. By partnering with 1 million diverse people who share information about themselves over many years, All of Us will enable research to more precisely prevent and treat a variety of health conditions.
“The time is now to transform how we conduct research – with participants as partners – to shed new light on how to stay healthy and manage disease in more personalized ways. This is what we can accomplish through All of Us,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.
Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin and BloodCenter of Wisconsin, part of Versiti, have partnered with regional Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) to aid in engagement and recruitment of research participants. BloodCenter of Wisconsin will educate and engage its thousands of blood donors for potential involvement in the program.
People ages 18 and older, regardless of health status, are able to enroll. Participants are asked to share different types of health and lifestyle information, including through online surveys and electronic health records (EHRs), which will continue to be collected over the course of the program. At different times over the coming months and years, some participants will be asked to visit a local partner site to provide blood and urine samples and to have basic physical measurements taken, such as height and weight. The research program will include communities that have been historically underrepresented in biomedical research to make the program the largest, most diverse resource of its kind.
The Wisconsin program is one of 10 health care provider organization consortia across the country participating in the research program. It will represent the collaborative efforts of three fully-integrated regional health care systems and the largest provider of blood and blood products in Wisconsin to form a virtual statewide integrated delivery network. To sign up and learn more about All of Us, visit
Additional background information and quotes are enclosed from the institutions partnering to bring All of Us to Wisconsin.
Marshfield Clinic Research Institute
Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, a division of Marshfield Clinic Health System, was founded in 1959. It’s the largest private medical research institute in Wisconsin. The Research Institute consists of research centers in clinical research, cancer research, agricultural health and safety, epidemiology, human genetics, and biomedical informatics. Research Institute investigators publish extensively in peer-reviewed medical and scientific journals addressing a wide range of diseases and other health issues, including cancer, infectious diseases, heart disease, diabetes, eye disease, neurological disease, pediatrics, radiology, women's health, agricultural safety and genetics.
“Marshfield Clinic Research Institute is proud to be a leader in precision medicine, something we have been a part of since 2002 when we started the Personalized Medicine Research Project,” said Dr. Murray Brilliant, director of the Marshfield Clinic Research Institute’s Center for Human Genetics, a division of Marshfield Clinic Health System. “This award is the next step in our goal of being able to represent people from all walks of life in medical research.”
The Health System launched in 2002 its Personalized Medicine Research Project (PMRP), a population-based biobank consisting of genetic information linked to long-term electronic health records from more than 20,000 Health System patients. PMRP was recognized as one of the earliest and most useful biobanks in the U.S. Additionally, the Health System is one of the most productive and earliest adopters of precision medicine. The Health System’s work has been cited by NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins as a model for the federal Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI).
University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, in Madison, is the first medical school in the United States to integrate public health into all of its missions, including education. It grants medical, graduate and other health profession degrees. It partners with teaching sites and academic campuses centered in Green Bay, La Crosse, Marshfield, and Milwaukee to enhance the rural and urban educational experiences and service learning opportunities of students across the state of Wisconsin. It has a robust Global Health Program to provide unique learning and service opportunities. The school attracts millions of dollars in basic, clinical, and public health research funding annually and provides a fertile environment for student research. It offers dual degree programs, including M.D./Ph.D. and M.D./M.P.H. integrated training programs.
“All of Us Wisconsin aims to build upon UW researchers' innovative work in precision medicine for cancer treatment to expand the approach to other diseases and for prevention altogether,” said Dr. Elizabeth Burnside, co-principal investigator, All of Us Wisconsin. “We plan to leverage our existing partnerships with Marshfield Clinic, UW Health, the UW Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and others utilizing sound research and community engagement, to help lay a comprehensive foundation for precision health.”
Dr. Dorothy Farrar Edwards, co-principal investigator for All of Us Wisconsin and the community engagement lead for the statewide All of Us Wisconsin program, added: “I see this as an extension of the Wisconsin Idea. We, at the UW, aim to bring our knowledge to the benefit of the people in Wisconsin and beyond. We are committed not only to health equity, but to making major advances in health research. We’re an appropriate institution to do this, it’s in our DNA, so we were willing to jump in and accept the challenge to work on All of Us.”
Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin
The Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin regional health network is a partnership between Froedtert Health and the Medical College of Wisconsin supporting a shared mission of patient care, innovation, medical research and education. Our health network operates eastern Wisconsin's only academic medical center and adult Level I Trauma Center at Froedtert Hospital, Milwaukee, an internationally recognized training and research center engaged in thousands of clinical trials and studies. The Froedtert & MCW health network, which includes five hospitals, one of which is a nationally ranked academic medical center, more than 1,600 physicians and nearly 40 health centers and clinics, draws patients from throughout the Midwest and the nation. In our most recent fiscal year, outpatient visits exceeded 1.1 million, inpatient admissions to our hospitals were 49,250 and visits to our network physicians totaled 932,000. For more information, visit
“The All of Us Research Program represents an important opportunity for participants to contribute to the research that will guide medical treatment targeted to the uniqueness of individual patients. It is very important that this research is based on the experience of a wide variety of participants. MCW has the unique opportunity to engage populations that have traditionally been underrepresented in biomedical research to further advance patient care in the future through precision medicine,” said Jeffrey Whittle, M.D., professor general internal medicine. “Leading quality precision medicine programs such as All of Us, along with our researchers, physicians and partners, helps understand disease, improve diagnosis and advance patient care.”
The Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin leads an NIH-funded regional coalition of academic and clinical institutions, the Clinical Translational Science Institute of Southeast Wisconsin, which has been repeatedly cited for its robust community engagement activities. This coalition will facilitate broad participation by all of Milwaukee’s diverse communities. The NIH award represents an opportunity to engage populations that have historically been underrepresented in biomedical research.
BloodCenter of Wisconsin
BloodCenter of Wisconsin, part of Versiti, is a not-for-profit organization headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, that specializes in blood services, esoteric diagnostic testing, organ, tissue and stem cell donation, medical services and leading-edge research. We advance patient care by delivering life-saving solutions grounded in unparalleled medical and scientific expertise. The collective efforts of Versiti affiliates result in improved patient outcomes, expanded access to care, and cost efficiencies for health care systems nationwide. For more information, visit
“BloodCenter of Wisconsin, part of Versiti, is proud to educate and engage its thousands of blood donors for potential involvement in the All of Us Research Program,” said Dr. Gilbert White, BloodCenter of Wisconsin executive vice president for research. “Precision Medicine is a fast emerging approach to help ensure better outcomes for patients, and it’s an area that BloodCenter is helping to advance by many of our scientists. Participation in this program is one example in which we can contribute to advancing precision medicine in our community and across the nation.”
BloodCenter of Wisconsin’s scientific and medical research discoveries have made tangible contributions to the care of patients since its founding 70 years ago.
Precision Medicine Initiative, PMI, and All of Us are service marks of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.