Precision Medicine Initiative: Some quick resources


The White House has announced its anticipated “Precision Medicine Initiative,” which it describes as an “emerging field of medicine that takes into account individual differences in people’s genes, microbiomes, environments, and lifestyles – making possible more effective, targeted treatments for diseases like cancer and diabetes. ”

Health Journalism 2014 featured a panel about personalized medicine and the presentations from “Getting personal: The medical and ethical challenges of using genetic information” may offer some story ideas and considerations for reporters who are explaining President Barack Obama’s proposal. 

The practice of medicine has always been personal regarding the treatment of individual patients, but science has fostered a new era of so-called personalized medicine that takes into account each person’s specific clinical, genetic, genomic and environmental information in designing tailored treatment plans. (Click on each speakers’ name for their presentations.)

  • Bryan R. Haugen, M.D., professor of medicine and pathology, University of Colorado School of Medicine
  • Carl Morrison, M.D., D.V.M., executive director, Center for Personalized Medicine, Roswell Park Cancer Institute
  • Rebecca D. Pentz, Ph.D., professor of research ethics, Emory School of Medicine
  • Moderator: Eric T. Rosenthal, special correspondent, Oncology Times

The White House released this fact sheet today.

This interview with the director of the program in personalized health at the University of Utah offers a good explanation of what personalized care is and examples of what it could do.

For Science magazine, Jocelyn Kaiser writes that the Obama precision medicine plan would create huge U.S. genetic biobank. She follows up with more details about the price tag and budget.

And if you’re attending Health Journalism 2015, the “genetics primer for journalists” on Thursday will feature:

  • Gregory M. Enns, M.D., director, biochemical genetics program, Stanford School of Medicine; associate professor, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital
  • Stephan Sanders, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry, University of California San Francisco
  • Moderator: Helen Shen, Ph.D., independent journalist, Sunnyvale, Calif.

A panel on Friday will look at the clinical, ethical and research sides of genetics.

See previous Covering Health posts related to genetics.

Precision medicine also takes into account a person’s lifestyle and environment, things you can learn more about in AHCJ’s social determinants core topic area.

Creative Commons License

Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license.