All of Us Research Program makes stops in Baton Rouge

Updated: Jan. 16, 2020 at 8:58 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - There’s no doubt that medical research saves lives, but there’s a problem with much of the data that scientists use: it doesn’t include enough information from minorities.

There’s a nationwide tour trying to change that. It’s called the All of Us Research Program, and it’s sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. The 10-year goal is to collect data from one million people across the country, with a focus on minorities.

Health data from diverse people will help fill gaps in knowledge about why people get sick or stay healthy. That will give researchers a more complete picture of factors that affect health and disease.

The first stop in Baton Rouge was Thursday, Jan. 16 at Pennington Biomedical Research Center. The tour bus features several interactive exhibits that explain the importance of diversity in medical research.

“Baton Rouge is one of those communities that’s severely underrepresented,” said tour director, Luis Astacio. “When we talk about that, we talk about 1% being Hispanic and 2% of African Americans are ever represented in these data sets. We can make a huge difference. Clearly we can change that number.”

The tour will make several more stops in Baton Rouge:

Friday, Jan. 17, 12 to 6 p.m.

  • Shipt Louisiana Marathon Health, Fitness, Lifestyle Expo
  • Raising Cane’s River Center

Saturday, Jan. 18, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

  • Shipt Louisiana Marathon Health, Fitness, Lifestyle Expo
  • Raising Cane’s River Center

Tuesday, Jan. 21, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • Baton Rouge Delta Alumnae Chapter Sorority House, 926 Harding Blvd.

Wednesday, Jan. 22, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • ExxonMobil YMCA, 7717 Howell Blvd.

Since the tour’s launch in the summer of 2017, the program has traveled to more than 38 states and 110 communities across the country and has helped enroll more than 7,000 participants. Currently, there are more than 311,000 volunteers participating in the All of Us Research Program.

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