Geoffrey Ginsburg, MD, PhD, director of the Duke Center for Applied Genomics and Precision Medicine

Geoffrey Ginsburg, MD, PhD, director of the Duke Center for Applied Genomics and Precision Medicine

What role should artificial intelligence play in patient diagnosis? How can we best prepare the next generation to make sense of enormous amounts of health-related data?

These were just a few of the questions explored at the 15th Precision Medicine World Conference held at Duke University September 24-25, 2018.  This is the second time Duke has hosted the conference. Approximately 420 people attended, representing healthcare and biotechnology institutions from around the world including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Baylor College of Medicine, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Johns Hopkins University, IBM, Regeneron, and the Broad Institute.

Mary E. Klotman, MD, Dean of the Duke University School of Medicine, provided welcome remarks. Former Duke Chancellor of Health Affairs and Dean of the School of Medicine Ralph Snyderman, MD, and Geoffrey Ginsburg, MD, PhD, director of the Duke Center for Applied Genomics and Precision Medicine, served as co-hosts of the event, which drew a national crowd.

“Hosting a conference of this caliber and stature at Duke is consistent with our leadership position in precision medicine,” said Ginsburg. “Duke has been and should continue to be at the vanguard of this field, and this conference not only allows us to shine the light on the many faculty here who are thought leaders in the field but allows for others from around the country to come together and share collective insights into how we should move forward.”

Michael Pencina, PhD, vice dean for data science and information technology

Michael Pencina, PhD, vice dean for data science and information technology

This year’s conference featured an eclectic agenda with diverse stakeholders and perspectives along the continuum from discovery to implementation to population health impact.  Eleven talks during the conference were given by Duke University faculty members.

Michael Pencina, PhD, vice dean for data science and information technology for the Duke University School of Medicine, talked about the importance of the fusion of biostatistics and machine learning to generate meaningful insights from the large amounts of healthcare data.  He likened the huge amount of data available to falling rain and suggested that a true team science approach is necessary to put the data into good use in the same way that rain is captured and utilized in a hydroelectric dam.

“We need to use the data already available to us to truly improve healthcare,” he said.  “It is not about machines replacing clinicians but about the integration of cutting-edge technologies to enable creation of the best healthcare system possible.”

“We need to use the data already available to us to truly improve healthcare,” he said.  “It is not about machines replacing clinicians but about the integration of cutting-edge technologies to enable creation of the best healthcare system possible.”

L. Ebony Boulware, MD, MPH, vice dean for translational sciences

L. Ebony Boulware, MD, MPH, vice dean for translational sciences

Cathleen Colon-Emeric, MD, MHSc, a professor of medicine and senior fellow in the Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development, spoke about how a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms of biological resilience is needed in order to personalize care for older adults.  L. Ebony Boulware, MD, MPH, vice dean for translational sciences in the Duke University School of Medicine, explained the ways in which precision health efforts will need to consider social, environmental and contextual influences on health.

Other Duke speakers included Robert Califf, MD, vice chancellor for health data science and former FDA commissioner; Susanne Haga, PhD, associate professor of medicine; Vandana Shashi, MD, professor of pediatrics; Charles Gersbach, PhD, the Rooney Family Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering; Svati Shah, MD, associate professor of medicine; and Lawrence David, PhD, associate professor of molecular genetics and microbiology.

By Lindsay Key

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Q: Checkpoint inhibitors, particularly with PD-L1/PD-1 targeting agents, have benefited a broad range of patients with cancer. How will we improve on this?

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Call from PMWC 2019 Silicon Valley Program Committee – We Must Accelerate and Deliver on the Promise of Precision Medicine

Precision medicine advancements are real as demonstrated by the high volume of molecular, “precise” drugs on the market, which are based on extensive molecular and translational understanding of the specific drug targets.

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#AI Play in Patient Diagnosis? How Can We Prepare the Next Generation to Make Sense of Enormous Amounts of Health-related Data?

What role should artificial intelligence play in patient diagnosis? How can we best prepare the next generation to make sense of enormous amounts of health-related data? These were just a few of the questions explored at the 15th Precision Medicine World Conference held at Duke University September 24-25, 2018.

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Interview with Daniella Beller, Manager, Maccabi Research Institute Biobank

Q: What makes the Maccabi Research Institute biobank unique?

A: To explain the uniqueness of the Maccabi Biobank (named “Tipa” in Hebrew which means “drop” or “just a little”), first you must know a little about Maccabi.

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Why We Need Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) To Foster Drug Discovery

Investments in pharma R&D has substantially increased over the last decades. Yet there appears to be no clear correlation to the number of newly approved drugs. This fact is accompanied by ever-increasing healthcare costs, fueled by an aging population and the parallel rise in the chronic disease burden.

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Precision Medicine: A Decade of Improving the Standard of Care

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Interview with David Hong from Karius

Q: What need is Karius addressing?

A: Physicians often have difficulty pinpointing the exact pathogen that is causing disease. Conventional diagnostics like blood cultures or PCR can have poor sensitivity due to pretreatment with antibiotics, the breadth of potential pathogens present, and the requirement for invasive procedures to access deep-seated infections.

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Interview with Charles Jaffe, MD, PhD from HL7

Q: What need is HL7 addressing?

A: For more than three decades, HL7 has provided the platform to enable global health data interoperability. This is more important than ever, as the cost of healthcare has increased exponentially, and the complexity of clinical evidence has grown to an almost unmanageable state.

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Interview with Eden Haverfield from Invitae

Q: What need is Invitae addressing?

A: Our mission is to bring comprehensive genetic information into mainstream medical practice to improve the quality of healthcare for billions of people. Invitae is uniquely positioned to answer some of life’s most serious and complex questions with the highest quality genetics and at an affordable price.

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Call by Ralph Snyderman (Duke U.) for Big Changes to Get to the Next Level of Precision Medicine

Beyond next-generation gene sequencing and developing diagnostic tools and targeted therapies, theoverall approach to clinical care has to be re-envisioned to fulfill the promise of precision medicine. Care must move from sporadic treatment of episodic disease (a reactive mode) to predicting disease and then acting to prevent and mitigate it (a proactive mode).

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Interview with William Hearl From Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc.

Q: What need is Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc. addressing?

A: Immunomic Therapeutics’ nucleic acid vaccines have the potential to utilize the body’s natural biochemistry to develop a broad immune response, including antibody production, cytokine release and critical immunological memory.

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Interview with Ralph Snyderman from Duke University

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A: Over the past decade, the field of precision medicine has created technologies enabling far more personalized and effective health care delivery. Many of the most dramatic advances have come in the field of oncology but targeting care to the needs of the individual is rapidly achieving broader applications.

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Interview with Catherine Reinis Lucey from UCSF

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Interview with Gunnar Carlsson from Ayasdi

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Johns Hopkins
University Of Michigan

The Precision Medicine World Conference (PMWC), in its 16th installment, will take place in the Santa Clara Convention Center (Silicon Valley) on January 20-23, 2019. The program will traverse innovative technologies, thriving initiatives, and clinical case studies that enable the translation of precision medicine into direct improvements in health care. Conference attendees will have an opportunity to learn first-hand about the latest developments and advancements in precision medicine and cutting-edge new strategies and solutions that are changing how patients are treated.

Agenda highlights:

  • Five tracks will showcase sessions on the latest advancements in precision medicine which include, but are not limited to:
    • AI & Data Science Showcase
    • Clinical & Research Tools Showcase
    • Clinical Dx Showcase
    • Creating Clinical Value with Liquid Biopsy ctDNA, etc.
    • Digital Health/Health and Wellness
    • Digital Phenotyping
    • Diversity in Precision Medicine
    • Drug Development (PPPs)
    • Early Days of Life Sequencing
    • Emerging Technologies in PM
    • Emerging Therapeutic Showcase
    • FDA Efforts to Accelerate PM
    • Gene Editing
    • Genomic Profiling Showcase
    • Immunotherapy Sessions & Showcase
    • Implementation into Health Care Delivery
    • Large Scale Bio-data Resources to Support Drug Development (PPPs)
    • Microbial Profiling Showcase
    • Microbiome
    • Neoantigens
    • Next-Gen. Workforce of PM
    • Non-Clinical Services Showcase
    • Pharmacogenomics
    • Point-of Care Dx Platform
    • Precision Public Health
    • Rare Disease Diagnosis
    • Resilience
    • Robust Clinical Decision Support Tools
    • Wellness and Aging Showcase

Agenda highlights:

    • Five tracks will showcase sessions on the latest advancements in precision medicine which include, but are not limited to:
      • AI & Data Science Showcase
      • Clinical & Research Tools Showcase
      • Clinical Dx Showcase
      • Creating Clinical Value with Liquid Biopsy ctDNA, etc.
      • Digital Health/Health and Wellness
      • Digital Phenotyping
      • Diversity in Precision Medicine
      • Drug Development (PPPs)
      • Early Days of Life Sequencing
      • Emerging Technologies in PM
      • Emerging Therapeutic Showcase
      • FDA Efforts to Accelerate PM
      • Gene Editing / CRISPR
      • Genomic Profiling Showcase
      • Immunotherapy Sessions & Showcase
      • Implementation into Health Care Delivery
      • Large Scale Bio-data Resources to Support Drug Development (PPPs)
      • Microbial Profiling Showcase
      • Microbiome
      • Neoantigens
      • Next-Gen. Workforce of PM
      • Non-Clinical Services Showcase
      • Pharmacogenomics
      • Point-of Care Dx Platform
      • Precision Public Health
      • Rare Disease Diagnosis
      • Resilience
      • Robust Clinical Decision Support Tools
      • Wellness and Aging Showcase
  • Luminary and Pioneer Awards, honoring individuals who contributed, and continue to contribute, to the field of Precision Medicine
  • 2000+ multidisciplinary attendees, from across the entire spectrum of healthcare, representing different types of companies, technologies, and medical centers with leadership roles in precision medicine
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