June 11, 2015

Forecasting Your Patient’s Future Health

By Jeff Briggs

Panel 5If you could provide access to your patients a list of every disease they would develop in their lifetime, would they read it? Would it read like their kitchen grocery list? Or would it contain the epic sweep of Moby Dick?

And what would they do if that list identified diseases that their children and grandchildren might inherit? Would they read on? Or would they close the book?

What if by identifying these diseases now, you could work with your patients to help prevent the disease from ever occurring, or to develop a treatment plan before the onset of clinical symptoms?

photo-main-stageWhile this may sound futuristic, physicians have already been using genomic medicine to accurately diagnose disease and tailor treatments. More recently, genomic medicine is being used to benefit otherwise-healthy patients for predicting and preventing disease.

Could this change the practice of medicine by regularly predicting disease in patients who have not yet fallen ill? Every day, researchers strive to learn more about the human genome and what it can tell us about a patient’s genetic predisposition for disease.

Predictive medicine using an individual’s genome is full of promise and hope, uncertainty and mystery. It also presents ethical challenges and obstacles to overcome when implementing genomic sequencing in patient care. And it’s rapidly changing, as researchers and scientists continue to unravel the genome.



The predictive aspect of genomic medicine will be one of the highlights at this year’s Individualizing Medicine Conference: From Promise to Practice, scheduled for September 20-23, in Rochester, Minn., home of Mayo Clinic. Predictive Genomics in Clinical Practice will examine the opportunities and challenges of implementing large-scale genomic sequencing of healthy people in a clinical practice. Speakers Stephen Friend, M.D., Ph.D. of Sage Bionetworks; Catalina Lopez-Correa, M.D., Ph.D. of Genome Quebec; Ruth Loos, Ph.D. of Mount Sinai Hospital; and moderator Konstantinos Lazaridis, M.D. of Mayo Clinic will explore the developing possibilities of predictive genomics.

Clues to Solve the Puzzles of Dementia, Parkinson’s Disease, and Cancer

Dr. Stephen Friend will also be discussing his work as the primary investigator with The Resilience Project: A Search for Unexpected Heroes, in which the clues to some of the most puzzling and common diseases are being discovered. The Resilience Project aims to shift the focus of genetic predisposition from the sick to the healthy. What enables a person with a genetic predisposition for disease to remain healthy and avoid developing clinical symptoms?

people2If you’re a physician, a clinician-researcher or and scientist, a genetic counselor, nurse practitioner, physician’s assistant, nurse, pharmacist, bioethicist, or part of a team of professionals that interpret genomic lab data, you’ll want to be in in Rochester on September 21 for the IM Conference 2015.

Hosted by the Center for Individualized Medicine, the fourth annual conference on individualized medicine — also known as precision medicine — focuses on translating the promise of genomic medicine into clinical practice. Expert speakers, focused breakout sessions, real-life case studies and a poster session provide opportunities to discover and discuss emerging topics in applied genomics.

New this year, the Center for Individualized Medicine offers a patient and public symposium on September 20, featuring expert talks and exhibits in pharmacogenomics, ethics, microbiome, cancer, and other areas where precision medicine is impacting health care.


Tags: center for individualized medicine, Dr. Stephen Friend, genomic medicine, genomics, Individualizing Medicine Conference 2015, mayo clinic, personalized medicine, Precision Medicine, Uncategorized

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