Members of the media are invited to interview experts on these topics:
How the New Genomic Era of Medicine is Advancing Options for Individualized Care In the 15 years since the first human genome was mapped, the cost of sequencing your entire DNA has plummeted to just a few hundred dollars. Instead of taking years, DNA sequencing can be performed in weeks or days. DNA testing now plays an important role in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of health care conditions — even those who are healthy.Experts who can discuss how genomic medicine may influence future health care are Eric Green, M.D., Ph.D., director, National Human Genome Research Institute, and Keith Stewart, M.B., Ch.B., Carlson and Nelson endowed director, Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine.
Your Best Defense Against Cancer May Be Found Within Your Individual Genetic Blueprint Research on a molecular level is unlocking new understanding of the power of the human body in the fight against cancer. Treatments, like chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy, seek to unleash the immune system to search and destroy cancer. Advanced DNA testing panels may reveal whether a tumor is linked to a genetic mutation a person was born with. The results may affect treatment and take the guesswork out of who else in your family is at increased risk for cancer.Experts available for interview are Yi Lin, M.D., Ph.D., oncologist, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center (CAR T-cell Therapy); Michael Berger, Ph.D., geneticist, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (advanced genomic testing); Kevin Halling, M.D., Ph.D., consultant, Mayo Clinic Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology (hereditary cancer); Heidi Nelson, M.D., director, Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine Microbiome program (microbiome role in cancer).
Gene Editing: Ethical and Health Care Considerations Could a tool that acts as a ‘molecular scissor’ slice and remove diseased DNA? Or would some try to manipulate human embryos to create super babies with outstanding intelligence, talent and beauty? Intriguing as gene editing may sound; there are many ethical and health care implications to consider. Megan Allyse, Ph.D., bioethicist, Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine, can discuss the advantages and limitations.
Artificial Intelligence – Will a Machine Decide Your Health Care? Research at Mayo Clinic is probing whether artificial intelligence can reduce the trial and error in prescribing medications such as antidepressants. Also known as augmented human intelligence, artificial intelligence combines deep computer analysis with human know-how to crack complex health conditions. Experts available for interview are Liewei Wang, M.D., Ph.D., Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine; Craig Mermel, M.D., Ph.D., Google Artificial Intelligence; Gabriel Krestin, M.D., Ph.D., machine learning and imaging, University Medical Center, Rotterdam, Netherlands; and Manolis Kellis, Ph.D., epigenomic applications of artificial intelligence, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Broad Institute.
Pharmacogenomics: Medications Matched to Your Genetic Blueprint One size does not fit all when it comes to medication. Research is uncovering ways health care providers can tap genetic blueprints to make decisions on individualized therapies for conditions ranging from cancer to depression. A standard drug that works for most patients might not work as intended for a patient. Or it could cause painful, life-threatening side effects.Experts who can talk about the importance of pre-emptive pharmacogenomics testing are Richard Weinshilboum, M.D., co-director, Pharmacogenomics Program, Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine; Imad Absah, M.D., pediatric gastroenterologist, Mayo Clinic; Teresa Kruisselbrink, supervisor and genetic counselor, Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine; and Timothy Curry, M.D., Ph.D., Education Program, Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine Education.
Dr. Stewart is 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 Science, and the Pharmacogenomics program director at the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine.