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Duke University Health System Aims to Enroll 100K Participants in Precision Medicine Study

NEW YORK – The Duke University Health System and School of Medicine on Tuesday said it is collaborating with software company Nference to launch a new precision medicine research effort called the OneDukeGen Genomic Sequencing Study and Biorepository.

The partners are aiming to consent and recruit into OneDukeGen more than 100,000 Duke Health patients who will donate blood or saliva samples and their health data. Researchers will conduct DNA and RNA sequencing on those samples and try to make connections with patient's health data to improve understanding of various diseases.

"By looking for patterns, we hope to find new ways to detect, treat, and maybe even prevent or cure health problems," Duke said on a website outlining the study details for potential participants. Samples left over after sequencing will be stored in a biorepository for future research.

Investigators will identify potential participants among individuals treated at Duke Health and send them messages about the study through the MyChart patient portal. Researchers, led by Svati Shah, associate dean of genomics at Duke, aim to engage community groups to enable enrollment of a diverse cohort.

"Our collaborative approach brings together Duke researchers and clinicians who will work in tandem to integrate research findings into patient care," Duke said in a statement announcing the launch of the study. "By bridging the gap between scientific discovery and clinical practice, we are poised to usher in a new era of healthcare delivery."

Duke Health in January announced it would use Nference's analytics platform to accelerate research and scientific breakthroughs. The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based software developer helps medical centers develop personalized drugs and tests by capturing and analyzing the unstructured patient data stored in their electronic medical records.