NIH picks Denny to be CEO of All of Us research program

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The National Institutes of Health has selected Joshua Denny, MD, to serve as chief executive officer of the All of Us research program.

Denny currently is vice president of personalized medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

NIH’s All of Us research program, a Precision Medicine Initiative cohort, aims to recruit a million or more participants to contribute their physical, genomic and electronic health record data to generate medical breakthroughs.

To date, more than 300,000 Americans have been enrolled in the program, including more than 233,000 who have agreed to share their EHR, completed health surveys, provided physical measurements and donated biospecimens.

“As CEO, Josh will oversee NIH’s efforts to build one of the largest and most comprehensive precision medicine research platforms in the world, in partnership with a diverse network of awardees and participants,” said NIH Director Francis Collins, MD, in a written statement.

According to Collins, Denny has been involved in the All of Us research program since it was established by the NIH in 2015. He led the program’s initial prototyping project and is currently the principal investigator for the VUMC-based All of Us Data and Research Center.

Collins noted that Denny will relocate from Nashville to NIH in Bethesda, Md., bringing to the CEO position his expertise in bioinformatics, genomics and internal medicine, as well as prior experience with other large research efforts, including the Electronic Medical Records and Genomics (eMERGE) Network, the Pharmacogenomics Research Network (PGRN) and the Implementing Genomics in Practice (IGNITE) Network.

Denny will succeed current All of Us Director Eric Dishman, who will become the program’s chief innovation officer. In addition, NIH announced that All of Us Deputy Director Stephanie Devaney is being promoted to chief operating officer.

“Recruitment will continue to reach the goal of at least one million participants; additional genotype, electronic health record, wearable sensor and environmental exposure data will be added to the unprecedented longitudinal dataset; and broad access to researchers will soon commence—guided by the most secure data system possible in order to protect participant confidentiality,” concluded Collins.

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