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Event showcases Vanderbilt’s personalized medicine efforts

May. 7, 2015, 8:44 AM

More than 100 clinician-scientists, geneticists, biomedical informatics experts, bio-statisticians, policy experts and students gathered for Personalized Medicine Day on May 1 at the Student Life Center. The depth and breadth of Vanderbilt’s ongoing investment in personalized medicine was on display in lectures, panel discussions and poster sessions.

Commenting from the podium on the vibrant research, clinical innovation and infrastructure for personalized medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, one speaker, Nancy Cox, Ph.D., director of the Division of Genetic Medicine, said, “I don’t know if you can fully appreciate how outstanding it is compared to what’s available elsewhere.”

Harvard Medical School’s George Church, Ph.D., was the keynote speaker for last week’s Personalized Medicine Day highlighting Vanderbilt’s ongoing efforts to guide new understanding of how to prevent and treat disease. (photo by Anne Rayner)

Personalized medicine is a data-intensive approach that uses genetics, as well as information on environmental exposures, behavior and other patient characteristics, to guide new understanding of how to prevent and treat disease.

The day’s opening remarks were delivered by Dan Roden, M.D., William Stokes Professor of Experimental Therapeutics and assistant vice chancellor for Personalized Medicine.

The keynote speaker was George Church, Ph.D., of Harvard Medical School, who has made well-known contributions to genomics and synthetic biology. Other speakers included Cox, who spoke on new approaches to exploiting large data sets; Christine Lovly, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of Medicine and Cancer Biology, who spoke on personalized cancer care; and Sunil Kripalani, M.D., M.Sc., associate professor of Medicine, whose spoke on social determinants of health.

The day’s two panel discussions were titled “Implementing and Evaluating Personalized Medicine Programs,” and “Moving Beyond Pharmacogenomics.” Attendees also reviewed posters summarizing research and clinical programs in personalized medicine.

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