The UNC Program for Precision Medicine in Health Care (PPMH), which aims to transform patient care through evidence-based precision medicine, and the North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences (NC TraCS) Institute at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) have awarded three pilot grants. The pilot grants have direct clinical or human translational impact and are focused on the implementation of precision medicine approaches in the UNC Health Care System and the state of North Carolina. PPMH will be providing the matching funds for these pilot grants.

Kelli Allen, PhD, Professor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy, and Immunology, will lead the “Precision Medicine to Inform Rehabilitation and Exercise Therapies for Knee Osteoarthritis” project. Knee OA is one of the most common chronic conditions treated in primary care at UNC, and exercise-based therapies are core recommended treatment components. Previous research has shown both internet-based exercise programs and physical therapy are effective, but little is known about which patients benefit most from these two types of programs. This project will use machine learning analyses to identify subgroups of patients who experience greater improvement with either physical therapy or internet-based exercise training. Results from this study will contribute towards standardizing treatments for knee OA.

Other award recipients include Christine Kistler, MD, MASc, Pengda Liu, PhD, and Ian David, MD, PhD.