• Science Saturday: Mayo Clinic doctor visits of the future could be powered by ‘omics’ research

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To glimpse the future of medicine, step inside Mayo Clinic's cutting-edge Center for Individualized Medicine. There, physicians, researchers, data scientists, artificial intelligence engineers and bioethicists are working side-by-side to investigate massive "omics" data sets. The innovative approach is the result of thousands of patients who are participating in omics-related research studies and clinical trials. 

The multidisciplinary teams are in pursuit of discovering hidden biological signatures and patterns of diseases, including cancer. Their hope and expectations are to further develop impactful individualized treatments and preventative strategies for everyone. 

Meanwhile, research participants are learning if they carry certain disease-causing mutations. For now, specific genomic findings can be included in each patient's electronic health record to guide their personal health care, including potential individualized treatments and screenings. In the near future, additional omics (proteomics, pharmacogenomics, metabolomics, exposomics, etc.) could be included to create a razor-sharp individualized roadmap for their health and wellness.

"I believe this incredible amount of omics data is going to change the way we practice family medicine," says John Presutti, D.O., a Mayo Clinic family medicine physician. "We're going to most likely see significant changes as quickly as two to five years from now."

Omics is an emerging multidisciplinary field of biological sciences that encompasses genomics (study of genes), proteomics (study of proteins), exposomics (study of cumulative environmental exposures), transcriptomics (study of gene expression at the mRNA level), pharmacogenomics (study of how genes affect response to drugs), metabolomics (study of small molecules) and more.

With omics investigations, researchers use a toolkit of scientific precision methods — such as DNA sequencing, microarrays, mass spectrometry and other high-throughput technologies. These technologies can help scientists simultaneously measure and analyze various biological omics molecules at multiple levels deep inside human cells, tissues and organisms — where many diseases evolve.   

Read the rest of the article on the Individualized Medicine blog.


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