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May 22nd, 2015

National Press Foundation Visits Mayo Clinic

By Jeff Briggs

Visiting journalists were the news this week at Mayo Clinic’s Center for Individualized Medicine.

Nat Press Foundation2Twenty national health reporters were in Rochester, Minn., to immerse themselves in precision medicine. Mayo Clinic hosted a four-day National Press Foundation program, so the journalists — selected by the foundation from a larger pool of candidates — could better grasp the complexities and issues of precision medicine.

With President Barack Obama, through the National Institutes of Health (NIH), launching his Precision Medicine Initiative, the National Press Foundation believed it was imperative that journalists become more knowledgeable about precision medicine — also called individualized or personalized medicine. Precision medicine allows physicians to use knowledge about an individual’s personal genetic makeup to determine the best plan for disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Dr. Gary Gibbons, director  National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

Dr. Gary Gibbons, director
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

The program, sponsored by Mayo Clinic, educated journalists on the latest medical research — seeking cures for Alzheimer’s, various cancers and many diseases of children — as well as covering key research and clinical aspects of precision medicine and issues of access, ethics and regulation. The program included a tour of the Mayo Clinic Biobank, now with over 50,000 DNA samples from volunteers in its databank, and more than a dozen sessions with national experts, researchers and clinicians.

The program featured presentations by NIH leaders, Gary Gibbons, M.D., director of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; and Roderic Pettigrew, Ph.D., M.D., director of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering.

Dr. Roderic Pettigrew, director National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering

Dr. Roderic Pettigrew, director
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering

The agenda also included experts from Mayo Clinic, University of Minnesota and Stanford University.

Topics for the seminar included:

  • The Human Genome Project
  • Pharmacogenomics
  • Biomarkers and Imaging
  • Precision Medicine and Bioethics
  • Epigenetics
  • Big Data in Genomic Research

Richard Weinshilboum, M.D., Pharmacogenomics Program Director at CIM, also offered a free webinar to the public on Precision Medicine 101. Dr. Weinshilboum is the Mary Lou and John H. Dasburg Professor of Cancer Genomics.

You can find the full list of speakers and presentations, recaps and video links to some of the presentations, and audio links to all the talks at the National Press Foundation’s webpage on Precision Medicine.

The National Press Foundation journalists attending the event included:

  • Arthur Allen | Politico
  • Nick Baumann | The Huffington Post
  • Karen Bouffard | The Detroit News
  • Gretchen Cuda-Kroen | Freelance Journalist
    (NPR, Marketplace, Scientific American)
  • Paige Cunningham | Washington Examiner
  • Jeanne Erdmann | FreelanceHealth and Science Journalist
    (Discover, The Washington Post, Nature Medicine)
  • Shannon Firth | MedPage Today
  • Melissa Healy | The Los Angeles Times
  • Susan Jaffe | The Lancet
  • Jason Kane | PBS NewsHour
  • Laura Lorenzetti | Fortune
  • Gail MarksJarvis | Chicago Tribune
  • Gillian Mohney | com
  • Samantha Olson | Medical Daily
  • Jeff Ostrowski | Palm Beach Post
  • Alice Park | TIME
  • Tina Reed | Washington Business Journal
  • Julie Steenhuysen | Reuters News
  • Robert Weisman | The Boston Globe
  • Jacque Wilson | CNN

Look for their bylines. These members of the national press corps are now better versed on precision medicine and where health care is going in the future.

Dr. Richard Weinshilboum talks about the Future of Health Care: Precision Medicine 101

Dr. Richard Weinshilboum talks about the Future of Health Care: Precision Medicine 101 with Sandy Johnson, director, National Press Foundation.

Tags: center for individualized medicine, genomic medicine, individualized medicine, National Press Foundation, NHLBI, NIBIB, Precision Medicine, Uncategorized

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