The National Institutes of Health plans to award $142 million to the Rochester, Minnesota-based Mayo Clinic to collect, store and distribute biological samples or biospecimens to support research efforts under the Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort program.
NIH said Thursday the PMI Cohort program aims to study individual differences in health and disease through biospecimens, lifestyle and health questionnaires, medication history, electronic health records, physical exams and real-time physiology.
“The more we understand about individual differences, the better able we will be to tailor the prevention and treatment of illness,” said NIH Director Francis Collins.
The Mayo Clinic Florida Biospecimen Accessioning and Processing Core laboratory will work to store, analyze and give researchers access to more than 35 million biospecimens and associated data through laboratory automation and robotics, NIH said.
The clinic will also serve as a biobank that could store eight to 10 million samples — which make up 20 to 25 percent of the biospecimen collection — to protect them from natural disasters, the agency added.
NIH looks to announce grants for the PMI Cohort Program coordinating center, participant technologies center and healthcare provider organization enrollment centers to prepare for the program’s main launch later this year.