Personalized medicine — the targeting of health care based on genetics — is a hot topic in national policy circles. As a senator in 2006, President Barack Obama introduced the Genomics and Personalized Medicine Act to facilitate the introduction of personalized medicine. Today, Obama and his health advisers have already begun discussing the potential of personalized medicine to help control health care costs. Experts agree that the field of personalized medicine will progress dramatically in 2009. The impact of health reform and related issues will be discussed at the upcoming Personalized Medicine Symposium and Roundtable on Thursday, Feb. 5, 2009. Speakers include representatives from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) and the US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Genomics, Health and Society (SACGHS). The symposium is sponsored by the newly established UCSF Center for Translational and Policy Research on Personalized Medicine (TRANSPERS). Speakers include Kathryn A. Phillips, PhD, director of TRANSPERS, M. Kathleen Behrens Wilsey, PhD, of PCAST and Paul Billings, MD, PhD, of SACGHS. Part of the Department of Clinical Pharmacy in the UCSF School of Pharmacy, TRANSPERS is a first-of-its-kind research center dedicated to developing evidence-based information for patients, providers, industry, researchers and policymakers to objectively assess how personalized medicine can be most beneficial and efficient in improving health outcomes. The goal of TRANSPERS is to advance the translational continuum for personalized medicine to ensure that new personalized medicine technologies can be used most beneficially and efficiently in clinical care. “I am excited to be leading the new center, which fills a critical gap by examining how these new technologies can best be used to improve patient outcomes,” says Phillips. “My research team is encouraged by the enthusiastic response to the new center and the kickoff symposium, with participation by numerous key leaders in government and private industry.” The symposium is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 5, from 3 to 4 p.m. in the Fisher Family Hall at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco (JCCSF), 3200 California St. A roundtable table discussion, titled “Current Issues for Personalized Medicine,” will follow the symposium from 4:15 to 6 p.m. in Gallanter Hall, room 206, at the JCCSF. Confirmed panelists for the roundtable discussion include:
- Rick Boland, MD, chief of the Division of Gastroenterology at Baylor University Medical Center. He has a careerlong research interest in colon cancer, specifically focusing on the initial causes of colon cancer and familial cancer syndromes.
- Linda Bradley, MD, a clinical geneticist who is now working as a public health geneticist at Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island. Bradley was instrumental in developing an independent process for the systematic, evidence-based evaluation of genetic and genomic tests in translation from research to clinical and public health practice as part of her previous work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Evaluation of Genomic Applications in Practice and Prevention initiative.
- Laura Esserman, MD, a nationally known breast surgeon, professor of surgery and radiology in the UCSF School of Medicine, and director of the UCSF Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center at the UCSF Mount Zion campus.
- Kathy Giacomini, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences, and professor of pharmaceutical chemistry and cellular and molecular pharmacology in the UCSF School of Pharmacy.
- Joe Guglielmo, PharmD, professor and chair of the Department of Clinical Pharmacy in the UCSF School of Pharmacy.
- Bernie Lo, MD, a renowned ethicist at UCSF who, among other endeavors, serves on the National Institutes of Health Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee, which reviews gene transfer clinical trials. Lo also chairs a UCSF committee that published guidelines for informed consent in embryonic stem cell research.
- Bob Nussbaum, MD, chief of the Division of Medical Genetics in the Department of Medicine, UCSF School of Medicine, and Holly Smith Distinguished Professor in Science and Medicine. He most recently served for 12 years as chief of the Genetic Disease Research Branch in the Division of Intramural Research, National Human Genome Research Institute.
- Joan Scott is deputy director of the Genetics and Public Policy Center at Johns Hopkins University. Scott is a certified genetic counselor with more than 25 years of experience in clinical genetics, the biotechnology industry and genetic policy.
- Ralph Snyderman, MD, chancellor of health affairs emeritus at Duke University, has extensive expertise in personalized medicine as former senior vice president at Genentech. He more recently founded and serves as chairman of the board of Proventys Inc.
Fast-Changing Field of Medical Genetics Embraces Personalized Medicine
UCSF Today, Oct. 21, 2008