N.C. A&T Named to Inaugural All of Us Research Academy Cohort

08/10/2022 College of Health and Human Sciences

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Aug. 10, 2022) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University has been included in the initial cohort of institutional champions for the All of Us Researcher Academy.

RTI International, a nonprofit research institute, selected N.C. A&T and five other historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) following a public call for nominations to provide training, technical assistance and peer-to-peer learning for health researchers at Minority Serving Institutions with support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Institutional awards of approximately $425,000 will be dispersed to support faculty and staff use of the All of Us Researcher Workbench, a cloud-based platform to enhance data analysis and collaboration.

A&T was chosen to receive an All of Us Researcher Academy Institutional Champion award in the requested amount of $74,538. Co-principal investigators for the project are T.J. Exford, Ph.D., assistant kinesiology professor, and Yvonne Ford, Ph.D., assistant nursing professor, both in the John R. and Kathy R. Hairson College of Health and Human Sciences, and Kristen Rhinehardt, Ph.D., assistant computational science and engineering professor in the College of Engineering.

Other cohort members are Howard University, Morgan State University, North Carolina Central University, Southern University at New Orleans and Tuskegee University.

Each of the six HBCUs will support researchers for a year and can welcome visiting students and faculty from other HBCUs to participate.

“We are happy to partner with this group of institutional champions to support the important work of health researchers based at Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” said Sula Hood, Ph.D., who co- leads the All of Us Researcher Academy with Brian Southwell, Ph.D., at RTI. “It’s hard to understate the importance of having better representation in biomedical research. This is a step toward making health data more inclusive and diverse.”

Researchers affiliated with any HBCU can register for courses offered by the All of Us Researcher Academy. Courses will offer training in coding and data analysis needed to use the All of Us Researcher Workbench, grant writing, publication development and other topics relevant to scientific research related to the All of Us dataset.

In 2020, RTI received a five-year award from NIH to participate in a national consortium of organizations supporting the All of Us Research Program. All of Us is designed to build one of the largest, most diverse health databases of its kind, engaging at least 1 million participants who reflect the diversity of the U.S., particularly from communities historically underrepresented in biomedical research. Data gathered from participants will help drive innovation in health care and help scientists understand how genes, health practices and environmental exposures can impact health and illness.

RTI’s partners in development of the All of Us Researcher Academy include Community-Campus Partnerships for Health and the North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences (NC TraCS) Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

For more information about the academy, email AllofUs_Academy@rti.org.

Media Contact Information: jtorok@ncat.edu

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