• By Susan Buckles

From the research lab to clinical care: Innovators in precision medicine available for media interviews

September 26, 2016

woman working in labROCHESTER, Minn. — What’s often been considered the next generation of health care is here now —ready to arrive at your doctor’s office. Experts in individualized medicine — also known as personalized or precision medicine — will be in Rochester on Oct. 5-6, 2016, presenting ways to integrate genomic medicine into patient care. They will offer the latest findings at Individualizing Medicine 2016: Advancing Care Through Genomics which will be held at the Rochester Civic Center. If you’re a member of the media, you’re invited to interview these experts on-site or cover their presentations via webcast or Facebook Live for a variety of health and medical stories.

The list of Mayo Clinic experts and external presenters reads like a who’s who of individualized medicine throughout the country and the world.

Mayo Clinic experts can address the following topics:

How patients should talk to their physicians about precision medicine; what physicians can immediately integrate into patient care
Keith Stewart, M.B., Ch.B., director, Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine

Dr. Stewart has a vision that all patients at Mayo Clinic will benefit from precision medicine. From ordering better diagnostic tests to prescribing drugs that best work with a patient’s genetic makeup, Dr. Stewart can talk about ways physicians can immediately integrate precision medicine into patient care. He can also explain how patients can become informed and ask about individualized therapies as part of their treatment plans.

Finding the right drug at the right dose based on genetics
Richard Weinshilboum, M.D., Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine

Weinshilboum can help you understand why some medications cause patients great trouble while others don’t seem to work at all. The answer may lie within a person’s genes. As director of the Pharmacogenomics Program at the Center for Individualized Medicine, Dr. Weinshilboum can help patients learn which medications are best suited to their individual needs. He can answer questions ranging from what tests patients should have to how much it will cost and whether insurance pays.

How a genetic counselor can help you understand your health and risk disease
Teresa Kruisselbrink, M.S., Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine

Kruisselbrink, a certified genetic counselor, works with patients and their families to help them understand what genetic tests might be right for them and how to navigate the complex maze of genetic information that may impact their health.

Conference presenters and the topics they can address include:

Precision medicine treatments for cancer and other genetic diseases
Euan Ashley,
R.C.P., D. Phil., Stanford University

Dr. Ashley shares the promise of precision medicine with examples from genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis and cancer. A cardiologist and associate professor of medicine and genetics, he will discuss the importance of accuracy in genomic medicine and provide recommendations for developing better diagnostic tools for individualized therapies for patients.

European version of the White House Precision Medicine Initiative
Mark Caulfield, FMedSci., Genomics England

Caulfield is the chief scientist for the 100,000 Genomes Project for Genomics England, which seeks to transform patient care and advance research into rare diseases and cancer. Similar to President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort, the 100,000 Genome Project involves sequencing genomes of 70,000 patients who will share their medical records and environmental data. Researchers will use the data to investigate the causes, diagnosis and treatment of disease. The hope is to offer a diagnosis for conditions where there so far has been none and, in time, offer new, effective individualized treatments.

Cancer patient turned advocate of individualized treatments
Kathy Giusti, MBA, Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation

Giusti knows firsthand the importance of mapping your DNA and matching it to individualized therapies. She understands, because she’s been there —as a cancer patient and as an advocate for moving promising treatments from the lab to the market. As a young mother and businesswoman in 1996, she was diagnosed with multiple myeloma — a type of blood cancer. She was given about three years to live. She refused to accept her prognosis. Twenty years later, she is in remission due to new treatments and a stem cell transplant from her twin sister. Then, in another twist, her identical twin was diagnosed with breast cancer. Why did two sisters with identical genes develop two different types of cancer? She had her DNA mapped, which revealed surprising findings: She did not have the same breast cancer gene mutation that her twin had. As co-founder and head of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, Giusti speaks and advocates for a collaboration among business, academic research and patients to bring new treatments and hope to cancer patients.

Genetic risk scores
Jonathan Haines, Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University

Knowing your numbers is important when it comes to health issues such as cholesterol and blood pressure. But Jonathan Haines will share why physicians need to proceed cautiously with one particular set of numbers: Genetic risk scores that are generated for different diseases. In his presentation, “To Use or Not to Use: Clinical Application of Genetic Risk Scores in Age-Related Macular Degeneration,” Haines shares how risk scores are a different quantitation than what most physicians still think about.

What patients should know about precision medicine and wellness and consumer genomics (home DNA collection kits)
Leroy Hood, M.D., Ph.D., Institute for Systems Biology

How can precision medicine prevent, diagnose and cure disease? Dr. Hood offers research and perspectives to answer those questions. In 2013, Dr. Hood received the National Medal of Science from President Obama. A year later, he was named one of the 50 Most Influential Scientists in the World Today by The Best Schools. And Scientific American has named him as one of the top six in its selection of 100 biotech visionaries worldwide. Hood also will share his expertise as a participant on the Consumer Genomics Panel Discussion, providing his perspective on the DNA tests now available over the counter. The discussion will look at the risks, the reliability and how to best use the information to guide health decisions. Additional panel speakers are Jill Hagenkord, M.D., 23andMe, and Justin Kao, Helix.

National Precision Medicine Initiative update
Kathy Hudson, Ph.D., National Institute of Health (NIH)

As the leader of President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative, Hudson will outline the latest on the Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort Program. This unprecedented study seeks to enroll 1 million or more people into a research cohort by 2020 in which participants will share a wide range of health, socioeconomic and lifestyle information to help researchers understand factors that influence health and disease. Among the goals of the project are to extend success of precision medicine in cancer to many other diseases and conditions, and prevent and treat illness.

Medication matched to your genetics
Julie Johnson, Pharm.D., University of Florida College of Pharmacy

Dr. Johnson is well-known for her expertise in pharmacogenomics — using a patient’s genetic profile to prescribe medication that’s most effective and has the fewest side effects. Think right drug at the right dose at the right time. Her research focuses on pharmacogenomics for cardiovascular patients and genomic medicine. She leads a hypertension pharmacogenomics research group funded under the NIH Pharmacogenomics Research Network and another NIH-funded group in genomic medicine implementation in the NIH IGNITE network.

How genomic medicine is ready for clinical care
Teri Manolio, M.D., Ph.D., National Human Genome Research Institute

Manolio, a physician and epidemiologist at the National Institutes of Health says DNA sequencing can unravel the mystery behind many complex health problems. She cites as examples twins who suffered from years of health challenges and a wrong diagnosis of cerebral palsy. After the twins had their DNA mapped, doctors found they had a different illness and were given a course of treatment that led to immediate improvement in their health. Dr. Manolio, a physician and epidemiologist, says genomic medicine is ready for integration into your doctor’s office.

Autism links to genetics
Stephen Scherer, Ph.D., D.Sc., The University of Toronto McLaughlin Centre and The Centre for Applied Genomics at SickKids

Scherer’s research sheds new light on genetic links to autism, a neurological disorder that has long perplexed the medical community. The leader of the largest-ever autism genome study, Dr. Scherer has uncovered new genetic findings on siblings with autism spectrum disorder. His research involving DNA sequencing of 10,000 patients inspires hope for individualized treatment.

How Individualized Medicine Can Benefit Patients With Rare Diseases
Marshal Summar, M.D., Children’s National Health System, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

Summar is well-known for his pioneering work in caring for children diagnosed with rare diseases. He joined Children’s National in 2010, where he leads the Division of Genetics and Metabolism the largest clinical division in the world. The division sees more than 7,500 patients with rare diseases each year. Dr. Summar’s laboratory works on devices and treatments for patients with genetic diseases and adapts knowledge from rare diseases to mainstream medicine.

Additional information

For media covering the conference on site, a Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine patient will offer interviews on how pharmacogenomics testing improved her health and may have saved her life.

Dr. Stewart is the Carlson and Nelson Endowed Director of the Center for Individualized Medicine. He is also recognized as the Vasek and Anna Maria Polak Professor of Cancer Research.

Dr. Weinshilboum is the Mary Lou and John H. Dasburg Professor of Cancer Genomics, professor of medicine and pharmacology at the Mayo College of Medicine, and the Pharmacogenomics program director at the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine.

The Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine is hosting the conference with support from the Satter Foundation.

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About Center for Individualized Medicine
The Center for Individualized Medicine discovers and integrates the latest in genomic, molecular and clinical sciences into personalized care for each Mayo Clinic patient. For more information, visit http://mayoresearch.mayo.edu/center-for-individualized-medicine/

About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to medical research and education and providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic or https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/.

MEDIA CONTACT: Susan Buckles, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, newsbureau@mayo.edu