Visiting journalists were the news this week at Mayo Clinic’s Center for Individualized Medicine.
Twenty 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.
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.
The agenda also included experts from Mayo Clinic, University of Minnesota and Stanford University.
Topics for the seminar included:
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:
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.