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Outside the Lab Precision medicine, Genetics and epigenetics, Profession, Omics

A Tale of Two Cities

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair...”

Many experts in genetics and genomics believe that some – or all – of the above reflections are true of today’s personalized medicine. It’s easy to see how some of them apply. With technology advancing rapidly and the cost of sequencing dropping precipitously, we’re certainly experiencing the best of times in terms of our ability to explore the mysteries of the human genome. But our ability to store and interpret data still lags behind, and the more we hype the “personalized medicine revolution,” the more patients expect miracles that simply aren’t achievable. So how can we approach precision medicine from a balanced perspective? How can we optimize our resources and abilities to best serve our patients?

Precision medicine is growing at an astounding pace – in the last decade, over 100 prominent new personalized diagnostic and treatment products have become available, and the Personalized Medicine Coalition has expanded more than tenfold. Even the President of the United States has launched a new Precision Medicine Initiative that funds not only grants, but the assembly of patient cohorts and the establishment of better regulatory standards. It’s clear the concept is catching on, so how can research and clinical laboratories get on board? We spoke with the leaders of two major genomic research centers to ask about their institutions, the challenges they’ve faced and continue to face, and how others can make the move to personalized medicine and contribute to the next evolution in healthcare.

Young but Powerful  By David Roth
Field of Genes  By James Broach
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About the Author
Michael Schubert

While obtaining degrees in biology from the University of Alberta and biochemistry from Penn State College of Medicine, I worked as a freelance science and medical writer. I was able to hone my skills in research, presentation and scientific writing by assembling grants and journal articles, speaking at international conferences, and consulting on topics ranging from medical education to comic book science. As much as I’ve enjoyed designing new bacteria and plausible superheroes, though, I’m more pleased than ever to be at Texere, using my writing and editing skills to create great content for a professional audience.

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