On Friday, US President Barack Obama will propose that the government plow $215 million into precision medicine research, which field proponents say can advance the treatment of diseases like cancer and diabetes. This proposal is part of Obama's 2016 budget plan, which would first have to be approved by a hostile Republican-controlled Congress.
The funding would be utilized in part to collect gene, chemical, lifestyle and other data from one million volunteers. Researchers believe that vast bank of information could then lead to better classification of diseases, based on molecular causes rather than symptoms, as well as tailored treatment that replaces a 'one size fits all' approach.
$200 million would go to the National Institutes of Health and its affiliate the National Cancer Institute. The White House spokesperson said, "Most medical treatments have been designed for the 'average patient'. As a result... treatments can be very successful for some patients but not for others. Advances in precision medicine have already led to powerful new discoveries and several new treatments that are tailored to specific characteristics of individuals. Translating initial successes to a larger scale will require a coordinated and sustained national effort."
During his recent State of the Union address, Obama said, "I want the country that eliminated polio and mapped the human genome to lead a new era of medicine."