September 5, 2023

All of Us Journey traveling exhibition will visit campus from Sept. 12-15 to educate the community and provide opportunities to donate bio samples for national database.

HACKETTSTOWN, NJ, September 5, 2023 — A National Institutes of Health (NIH) initiative to address racial and ethnic disparities in medical research is coming to Centenary University’s campus from Sept. 12-15. Called the All of Us Journey, this traveling exhibition will raise awareness of the importance of increasing participation in clinical studies among people of color. The effort will also provide opportunities for attendees to donate  bio samples for a national database consulted by scientists conducting research.

“Medical research has historically concentrated on white males of European ancestry,” said Craig Fuller, Ph.D., interim dean of the Centenary University School of Natural, Health, Social, & Behavioral Sciences and director of the University’s Bachelor of Science in Medical Laboratory Science. “A study reported by the Mayo Clinic recently revealed that, while Blacks and Latinos make up 30 percent of the U.S. population, they account for just 6 percent of participants in federally funded clinical trials. This becomes critically important when making critical decisions regarding treatments tailored to specific genetic makeup. Clinical trial participants must appropriately represent the populations that will be served, whether examining a chemotherapeutic drug, vaccine, or new treatment strategy. In some situations, it can mean the difference between wellness and illness.”

Dr. Fuller added that these disparities translate into aggravated and potentially fatal outcomes in under-represented populations affected by asthma, cancer, lung disease, and other illnesses. Recognizing the importance of this situation, Centenary University Library Director Susan Van Alstyne, Ed.D., and Kathleen Greco, who coordinates community engagement, diversity, inclusion, and belonging initiatives for the University, applied to the National Institutes of Health to bring the All of Us Journey to campus. The four-day event, which is open to the public, will feature interactive activities, videos, games, and quizzes to demonstrate the power of broader participation in health research. The University will also host a food truck festival and its annual campuswide Spirit Week at the same time.

In addition, the event will feature opportunities for attendees to enroll in the NIH All of Us research program by answering surveys about their health, lifestyle, and family history, and providing physical measurements, as well as hair, blood, and urine samples to be included in a national database available to medical researchers for future studies. Sample collection will be conducted by All of Us representatives and any identifying information will be removed from the specimen to ensure the privacy of all participants.

Greco plans to partner with the Hackettstown Business Improvement District and area schools to boost attendance at the four-day event:

What we really want to do is educate the population about the importance of this effort. While we will be accepting bio samples, the real purpose of this event is to spread the word. The more input volunteers provide, the better the research and health outcomes for millions of people.


Centenary University offers extraordinary learning opportunities that empower students to develop intellectually, emotionally, and interculturally—keys to career and personal success. Under the leadership of President Dale Caldwell, Ed.D., the University aspires to advance its reputation as a world class institution offering innovative programs, including the world’s first Master of Arts in Happiness Studies, to lift the future for our students and local communities.

Skip to content