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The National Neurotrauma Society Presents:

Pittsburgh Community Advancements in Assistive Technology

Pittsburgh Community Advancements in Precision Medicine and Research Engagement

Pittsburgh Community Advancement in Neuroscience Training on Neurotrauma

The Precision Medicine Initiative: What Does it Mean to All of Us?

Despite many people having similar clinical symptoms, demographic factors like age, sex, and race can widely impact response to clinical treatments and recovery trajectories among those with traumatic spinal cord and brain injuries. One important area of consideration is how individual differences in each person’s biology may contribute to the variability in each patient’s recovery and unique response to treatment. All of these factors contribute to overall health and function as we develop, grow, and age.

Building off the momentum of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded Precision Medicine Initiative, we in Western Pennsylvania have an important opportunity to work with the University of Pittsburgh to play a direct part in understanding how personal biology impacts health and function over our lifetime. In partnership with the University of Pittsburgh and many other academic centers, the NIH is asking for 1 million volunteers to share their genetic information (or DNA) and other personal, demographic, health, and function information to support the landmark Precision Medicine Initiative. Researchers from all over the country will use these data to learn more about health, function, and personalizing treatments to best optimize health and function over the lifespan. The goal of this work is meant to improve the health of all Americans, and health globally. Participation by individuals from all walks of life will ensure this goal is met.

The University of Pittsburgh’s Precision Medicine Institute will provide an interactive session informing the public about the NIH vision behind the Precision Medicine Initiative and how all of us can participate in research that will improve the health and function of our nation. Special emphasis will be placed on the important role that recruitment of individuals with disabilities, including disabilities related to neurotrauma, play in this important research program.

The University of Pittsburgh’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute will also support this educational effort through related interactive discussions on the importance of community informed research themes and goals for efforts like the Precision Medicine Initiative, and the critical need for research informed communities to participate in and support research efforts intended to impact the health and function of every community.

Educational Objectives

At the conclusion of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Inform the community about the NIH funded Precision Medicine Initiative
  2. Highlight the role that Pennsylvanians have in supporting the Precision Medicine Initiative through the “All of Us” study
  3. Emphasize the need for research informed communities and also community informed precision medicine research.
  4. Discuss ways in which the Precision Medicine Initiative can support research that improves function for those with disabilities.