Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Precision Medicine Initiative: Consultative PGx and Data Sharing at Stanford University

On February 25th, one year after the announcement of the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI), the White House hosted the Precision Medicine Summit. A White House press release described how various public and private groups will be taking steps to advance the goals of the PMI. As part of the PMI Stanford will launch a consultative pharmacogenetics practice for physicians to refer patients with unusual drug responses. Dr. Russ Altman, Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI) of PharmGKB will lead the pharmacogenetics consultative practice. The consultative practice will evaluate genetic variants in patients with unusual drug responses and will use Clinical Pharmacogenetics Implementation Consortium (CPIC) dosing guidelines to focus attention on gene-drug pairs with the best evidence for actionability. In addition, Stanford University will also make the genomic data of 77 individuals of Iranian descent publicly available. The genomes of those 77 individuals were sequenced as part of the Iranian Genome Project, for which Dr. Altman is also the PI. Dr. Roxana Daneshjou, a former student in Dr. Altman’s lab is the lead researcher for the project.  Although Dr. Daneshjou is leading the data analysis for the project, Dr. Altman explained “we wanted to get the data out into the public as soon as possible, so (we) have taken the slightly unusual measure of making the data available before we get our paper out… we want people to use it.” A major goal of the PMI is to “open up data and technology tools to invite citizen participation, unleash new discoveries, and bring together diverse collaborators to share their unique skills.”
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