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Vanderbilt’s Denny set for next Flexner Discovery Lecture

Jan. 28, 2016, 9:43 AM

Joshua Denny, M.D., M.S., who helped propel Vanderbilt University Medical Center into a leadership role in the national Precision Medicine Initiative, will deliver the next Flexner Discovery Lecture on Thursday, Feb. 4.

Joshua Denny, M.D., M.S.

His lecture, which is sponsored by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs, will begin at 4 p.m. in 208 Light Hall.

Denny, associate professor of Biomedical Informatics and Medicine, helped engineer the de-identified electronic health records (EHRs) linked to the nearly 215,000 genetic samples stored in BioVU, Vanderbilt’s massive DNA repository.

De-identified EHRs contain clinical information from electronic health records that has been stripped of personal identifiers. Linking this information to genetic samples enables researchers to assess the impact of specific genetic variations on disease outcome and risk, and on patient responses to specific medications.

Denny also has been involved at a national level, as senior advisor to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of the Director, and as a member of the Precision Medicine Initiative Working Group of the Advisory Committee to NIH Director Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D.

Last fall, the working group issued a report that detailed a framework for building a national research cohort of 1 million of more Americans that will help, in Collins’ words, move precision medicine “from concept to reality.”

For a complete schedule of the Flexner Discovery Lecture series and archived video of previous lectures, go to

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