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Emory, Ohio State launch partnership in predictive and personalized health care

Emory University and The Ohio State University Medical Center have formed the Alliance for Predictive and Personalized Health--a partnership aimed at transforming health care into a more patient-centered system that integrates scientific breakthroughs in genomics and molecular biology with advances in communications and information technology.

"The recent explosion of medical knowledge in genomics and molecular biology, along with significant advances in bioinformatics and communications technology, will fundamentally and profoundly transform the future practice of medicine," says Fred Sanfilippo, MD, PhD, CEO of Emory University's Woodruff Health Sciences Center and chairman of Emory Healthcare. "Personalized, predictive health care will provide the best prevention and treatment options for each individual, enabling informed decisions based on unique characteristics and using all available scientific knowledge."

The new partnership between Emory and Ohio State builds on innovative programs in predictive and personalized medicine in Emory's Woodruff Health Sciences Center and Ohio State University Medical Center.

Predictive Health is a major initiative within Emory University's strategic plan. In 2005 Emory and the Georgia Institute of Technology established the Emory/Georgia Tech Predictive Health Institute (, which combines a research core investigating new genetic and protein biomarkers with a Center for Health Discovery and Well-Being--a clinical testing ground and translational research center for optimum predictors of health, disease risk and prognosis.

"The current model of health care is neither economically sustainable nor adequately effective in terms of outcomes, accessibility, quality and safety. We have a tremendous opportunity to leverage existing strengths and programs within our institutions, take advantage of this amazing convergence of scientific and technological discovery, and develop a new model of health care that is tailored to the individual patient for prediction, prevention and treatment," says Daniel Sedmak, MD, executive director, OSU Center for Personalized Health Care.

Personalized health care is the cornerstone of the Ohio State University Medical Center's vision. In 2005 Ohio State formed a Center for Personalized Health Care, joining programs in biomedical informatics, genomics and biomarker science, imaging, clinical trials and investigation, employee health/managed care, and clinical application. In 2006 it incorporated personalized health care practices into its university health plans through the introduction of "Your Plan for Health."

Emory and Ohio State will focus their partnership in the following areas:

  • Genomics/biomarker science: bio-banking, shared databases, and shared cored resources focused on cancer genetics, autoimmune imaging, critical care medicine, wound care and behavioral medicine;

  • Clinical investigation/clinical trials: phenotyping and biomarkers, access to information, medical and legal liability issues, education and training to change the culture around personalized healthcare, systems biology and mathematical bioscience;

  • Biomedical informatics and information technology: data integration, hypothesis testing, biomedical informatics, health care information systems, high throughput computing, and genomics/proteomics;

  • Technology transfer and research management: intellectual property management and technology research and development, with a particular focus on databases, biobanks and biomarkers;

  • Environment: integrated approach to environmental risks and health maintenance;

  • Behavioral science: behavioral medicine, nutritional science, humanities and social sciences; and

  • Legal, ethical and health policy.

"We plan to incorporate the full application of information and communication technologies and incorporate genetics, personal biology and health history, behavior and environment into a patient-centered, individualized, predictive and proactive system of healthcare," says Kenneth Brigham, MD, director of the Emory/Georgia Tech Predictive Health Institute.


Contact: Holly Korschun
Emory University

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