About Science and Research with All of Us – Part Five!

June 3, 2021

The All of Us Research Program is just that, a program and not a study. In part five of our About Science and Research with All of Us, Bashir Easter, Ph.D., Assistant Director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison All of Us team at the Center for Community Engagement and Health Partnerships in Milwaukee will be schooling us on the difference.

Milwaukee Times: Dr. Easter, what is the difference between a program and a study?

Dr. Bashir Easter: I’m glad you asked that question. Clinical studies usually focus on one health condition. Sometimes they test new treatments to see if they work and are safe. All of Us is not a study but a research program. We will collect samples and data and make them available to researchers who want to study many different conditions and aspects of health. Now, All of Us may tell participants about clinical studies they can join, if they’re interested, but these studies are not part of All of Us, and our participants always have a choice.

Milwaukee Times: Why is health research important?

Dr. Bashir Easter: Health research is the process of learning more about how to improve people’s health. It’s important because we all want to live long and healthy lives. People who do health research are identifying better ways to keep us healthy, and they are discovering new ways to treat diseases.

Milwaukee Times: So, if I join All of Us, do I become a part of research?

Dr. Bashir Easter: If you join, you will be contributing to research that may improve health for some or even for everyone. Our goal is to help researchers understand why people get sick or stay healthy. Some examples of what researchers might be able to discover from their research includes:

• Better tests to see if people are sick or are at risk of getting sick
• Better mobile apps and other technologies to encourage healthy habits
• Better medicine or information about how much of a medicine is right for each person
• How different life circumstances or lifestyles affect health
• How different genetic make-up impacts how well different medicines may work
• Early clues to understand who might develop certain health conditions

That’s why we say becoming one in a million could lead to improved health for generations to come.

Milwaukee Times: As we close out this week’s column, you have a special program that tries to get people moving. Can you tell us about that?

Dr. Bashir Easter: To encourage people to join the movement, All of Us Wisconsin partners are hosting the Move to One Million Challenge. It’s easy to participate! Just show us how you move—snap a picture of yourself with All of Us gear, post that photo to your social media account(s), and tag All of Us UW and All of Us MKE and use #MyMoveto- 1Million! The challenge is running from June 1–August 31, 2021. Please follow local guidelines when you participate.

Do your own research about the All of Us Research Program nationally, by going to www.joinallofus.org, visiting our All of Us MKE Facebook page or calling (414) 882-1376.