Stories about: Human Genome Project

Leroy Hood and P4: How precision medicine will transform healthcare

Leroy Hood, MD, PhD, might not be a household name, but his impact on genetics and systems biology is hard to understate. Most notably, Hood invented the automated DNA sequencer that made the Human Genome Project possible.

In recent years, Hood has been working towards an even broader revolution in health care through an approach he calls P4 Medicine. The four Ps stand for predictive, preventative, personalized and participatory.

In his keynote presentation at the Boston Children’s Hospital Global Pediatric Innovation Summit + Awards, Hood laid out P4 Medicine’s radical vision for the future of health care. It’s a system that encompasses not just treating health problems, but enhancing wellness and preventing problems from occurring in the first place.

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The Gene Partnership: Hitting the road

The Gene Partnership (TGP) at Children’s Hospital Boston is now fully open for business, just in time for TGP Executive Director Dietrich Stephan, PhD, to hit the road to TEDMED, where he’ll be promoting TGP’s mission of “genetics for everyone.”

TGP was launched to harvest the fruits of the Human Genome Project–coupled with information technology, clinical data and other contextual information–to power the next wave of medicine. It approaches this goal differently than most personal genomics ventures, treating participants not as subjects but as partners. Patients can control what information they wish to share with a research project, and what information they receive back — benefiting from research findings directly and confidentially, free of charge.

Every child and family that visits Children’s can enroll, allowing researchers access to a rich, unparalleled repository of genetic information. Combined with faster gene-sequencing, mapping and data-crunching tools, the goal is for patients’ diseases to be diagnosed earlier and for new treatments — perhaps customized to the patient’s genome — to be moved to the market sooner.

Who would you rather give your DNA to?

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