Washington (AFP) - President Barack Obama on Friday unveiled plans to plow $215 million into "precision medicine" research, a field he said provided "boundless" promise for the treatment of diseases like cancer and diabetes.
The field -- which aims to tailor treatment to individual patients -- "gives us one of the greatest opportunities for new medical breakthrough that we have ever seen," Obama said.
The funding would be used in part to collect gene, biochemical, lifestyle and other data from one million volunteers.
Scientists believe that vast bank of information could then lead to better classification of diseases -- based on molecular causes rather than symptoms -- as well as tailored treatment that replaces a "one size fits all" approach.
The bulk of the money, $200 million, would go to the National Institutes of Health and its affiliate the National Cancer Institute.
The proposal is part of Obama's 2016 budget plan, which would first have to be approved by a hostile Republican-controlled Congress.
"The time is right to unleash a new wave of advancements in this area," said Obama setting out his proposals next to a giant model of DNA.
Obama said the move would "lay the foundation for a new generation of lifesaving discoveries."
"There is no telling how many lives we could change," he said.
During his recent State of the Union address, Obama said he wanted "the country that eliminated polio and mapped the human genome to lead a new era of medicine."