By Ashley Brenton, PhD
The Million Veterans Program (MVP) is an exciting precision medicine project initiated by the
White House in 2011. The goal is to build a huge genomic database with the genome
sequences of 1 million American veterans that can be used by researchers to study many
diseases, including cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Precision medicine focuses on using
information unique to each patient, such as environmental factors and genetic variability, to
understand disease, response to medications, and other health issues
As of June 2017, the MVP database had surpassed 580,000 individuals, making it the largest
genomic database in the world. Participants answer questions about their medical history and
provide a blood sample. DNA is extracted from the blood and sequencing information is
recorded in the database. Those using the database to conduct analyses do not have access to
personal information, such as name, address or social security number to protect the
confidentiality of the participants.
Researchers will be able to look for links between genetic and non-genetic factors, such as age,
ethnicity, sex, etc. and different medical conditions. Identifying these associations can shed
light into different risk factors, identify people who should undergo more rigorous screening or
preventive testing and may also provide information about the best treatment options. This
knowledge can then be extrapolated to a larger population, greatly increasing our medical
knowledge and the ability of doctors to effectively treat patients.
At Soteria Precision Medicine Advisory, Inc., we are excited to be on the forefront of precision
medicine and to help our clients, both veterans and non-veterans, utilize their personal
information for the best possible health outcomes.
For more information, see the Million Veterans Program website:
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Dr. Ashley Brenton is a precision medicine veteran. A classically trained molecular biologist, Dr.
Brenton’s career has focused on applying genomics to public health issues and she has a proven
track record in building scientific evidence for precision medicine, as well as bringing successful
precision medicine tests to commercialization. Dr. Brenton began her career at Johns Hopkins
and her background in public health and genomics led her to Soteria, where she strives to help
patients and their families navigate the often-complicated world of medicine through clear
communication and an expert understanding of cutting-edge medical testing.