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Roden named to NIH’s genomics advisory council

Jun. 12, 2014, 9:18 AM

Dan Roden, M.D., assistant vice chancellor for Personalized Medicine, has been appointed to the National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

His four-year term begins Oct. 1.

“The appointment reflects the national leadership generated by Vanderbilt’s institutional commitments to genome science,” said Roden, the William Stokes Professor of Experimental Therapeutics and professor of Medicine and Pharmacology.

Dan Roden, M.D.

“These include both long-standing commitments to information science and to translating bench knowledge to the bedside as well as support for innovative programs like BioVU and PREDICT, that are serving as national models for discovery and implementation in genome science,” he said.

Roden, who directs the Oates Institute for Experimental Therapeutics at Vanderbilt, is a national expert on pharmacogenomics, the study of how genetic variations affect individual responses to medication.

BioVU is Vanderbilt’s DNA databank. With more than 180,000 samples that have been de-identified, meaning that identifying patient information has been deleted, the design has allowed BioVU to grow to be one of the world’s largest DNA databanks.

BioVU is proving to be a powerful tool for studying the genetic contributions to health as well as disease, Roden said.

PREDICT (Pharmacogenomic Resource for Enhanced Decisions in Care & Treatment) genotypes, or screens the DNA of Vanderbilt patients for genetic variations that may affect their response to certain drugs.

This information is placed in their electronic health records and their doctors are notified if they are prescribed medications that either won’t work effectively or have a risk of causing side effects. The goal is to give patients the best medications the first time.

Roden has long been a leader in genomic medicine at the national level. He is Vanderbilt principal investigator for the NIH-supported Pharmacogenomics Research Network. He and several Vanderbilt colleagues participate in three network research projects — cardiovascular disease, arrhythmia therapy and rheumatoid arthritis therapy.

He also is a principal investigator in the NIH-supported Electronic Medical Records and Genomics (eMERGE) Network, which is helping to push forward large-scale, high-throughput genetic research and for which Vanderbilt serves as coordinating center.

Roden has received numerous honors for his research, including the American Heart Association’s Distinguished Scientist Award and its inaugural Functional Genomics and Translational Biology Medal of Honor.

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