Dr. Elizabeth Cohn is a researcher and health activist working on precision medicine and genomics. She has academic posts at both Adelphi University and Columbia University, where she works to improve the diversity of gene banks, so that medical research will include a wider range of people from different backgrounds and ethnic groups. She is part of the national All of Us program, a precision medicine initiative launched by President Obama. She is also a working board member of Harlem Health Revival, a group that devotes itself to making sure everyone, regardless of background, has an equal opportunity for good health and improving the overall health of Harlem Communities. In this article she tells us about her involvement in a national program that aims to make sure that everyone has access to the newest developments in medicine and genomics.
Q: Can you tell us about the All of Us Program?
A: It’s a national program that will recruit a million participants. It will be starting later in 2017.
The goal of the program is to look at what affects health across the nation, including people’s http://www.gethealthyharlem.org/about/healthopedia#Heart diseasegenomes, the set of genes that makes each person unique. We want to understand genomes so that we can better understand different diseases, how people get sick, and how we can cure them.
Q: What is your role in the All of Us Program?
I coordinate community outreach for the NYC Consortium and also work at the national level on workgroups thinking about how people would like to be engaged over time in this type of initiative.