In a briefing with reporters Thursday, NIH Director Francis S. Collins called the effort "the largest, most ambitious research project of this sort ever undertaken." Responsibility for assembling the volunteers has been awarded to Vanderbilt University and advisers from Verily (formerly Google Life Sciences), Collins said. The NIH hopes to enroll 79,000 people this year, Collins said.
John P. Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, noted that NIH already is expanding the number of clinical trials aimed at discovering genetic causes of cancer.
More than 40 private, non-profit and public groups will announce plans to accelerate the pace of the initiative, according to a White House news release.