The Center for Precision Medicine Research (CPMR), formerly the Center for Human Genetics, was established in 2004 and focuses its research on discovering the structure of the human genome and the hunt for genes that influence human health disorders. The discovery of short tandem repeat polymorphisms in 1989 revolutionized the study of human genetics, and the Marshfield maps are among the most reliable and widely used maps of the human genome in the world. The center comprises of two of Marshfield Clinic’s internationally known research assets: the Center for Medical Genetics, founded in 1994, and the Personalized Medicine Research Center, started in 2001. Scientists and CPMR staff now focus on multiple areas of study including Personalized Medicine Research Project (PMRP) study, Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) study and All of Us Research Program.

In 2002, CPMR launched the largest population-based genetic research project in the United States, involving more than 20,000 central Wisconsin residents, the Personalized Medicine Research Project or PMRP. By understanding which genes and environmental factors are involved in disease and cancer, doctors might be able to better target the biological pathways involved.  This information may also enable doctors to predict disease risk and prescribe preventative measures.

The Marshfield Clinic is one of four partners in the Wisconsin Genomics Initiative, a historic collaboration, whose vision is to be able to predict, for individual patients in a clinical setting, the risks of disease susceptibility and treatment response using the combined power of cutting edge genetic, phenotypic, and environmental analysis. Each of the four partners is a leader in one or more areas needed for a successful effort.

A team of investigators and staff in the Center for Precision Medicine Research, led by Scott Hebbring, PhD, are conducting a pilot study that applies genetic testing results to improve and personalize care for 2,000 Marshfield Clinic patients. It is estimated that up to 3% of patients will carry a genetic variant that is clinically actionable. Clinically actionable variants are those that increase disease risk for conditions where early detection may improve outcomes such as cancer and heart disease. In addition to disease risk variants, it is expected that 95% of patients will carry one or more pharmacogenetic variants. Pharmacogenetic variants are those that influence how people respond to specific medications. This genetic data are being integrated into Marshfield Clinic’s EHR and decision support tools are being developed so our patients can receive the right drug, at the right time, and at the right dose. This project is supported by generous patient donations, financial support from Security Health Plan, and grant awards from National Institute of Health.

Marshfield Clinic Research Institute is the lead site in Wisconsin for the national All of Us Research Program with collaborators at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine & Public Health, Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin, and Gunderson Health System.  This program is a momentous effort to advance individualized prevention, treatment and care for people of all backgrounds.  Murray Brilliant, PhD, Senior Research Scientist, is leading the state-wide recruitment efforts. The catchment area of the Wisconsin consortium covers 80% of the state thereby reflecting the true diversity of the state including both rural and urban populations. For additional information, including how to participate, visit, email, or call (888) 633-9987.

The mission of the Center for Precision Medicine Research is to conduct translational research in medical genetics that substantially improves patient care.  Dr. Sanjay Shukla, CPMR Director, affirms that the Center is committed to advancing scientific knowledge through human genetics research and to translating that knowledge into practical applications that will foster improved health.  

Personalized Medicine Research Project (PMRP) Newsletters

Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI)

MCRI All of Us Research Program Website