In 2003, Dan Roden, MD, then director of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, imagined a large-scale biobank integrated with electronic health records to help doctors “personalize” medical care for their patients. That vision became BioVU, today one of the world’s largest bio-banks, with over 300,000 DNA samples from a single health care system. In its 15th year, BioVU has enabled hundreds of studies and publications exploring the genetic underpinnings of a host of conditions including cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, and the development of new tools like PheWAS. Since joining the Vanderbilt faculty in 1981, Dr. Roden has become internationally recognized for his studies of the mechanisms and treatment of abnormal heart rhythms and variability in drug response. One major interest has been pharmacogenomics, and especially the role genetic variations play in adverse drug reactions such as drug-induced arrhythmias. He directed the Division of Clinical Pharmacology from 1992 to 2004 when he became founding director of the Oates Institute for Experimental Therapeutics. In 2016, a concerted effort was made to obtain genotyping data from a large cohort of the BioVU samples. About 90,000 samples were genotyped. All genomic data becomes available to VUMC-affiliated researchers studies can often be done without the need for additional genotyping. Researchers can also look through the de- identified version of the EHR and request that certain samples be genotyped. Dr. Roden is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and has been elected to membership in the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians. Roden has authored more than 700 peer-reviewed scientific papers. He is a leader in VUMC’s PREDICT project (Pharmacogenomic Resource for Enhanced Decisions in Care and Treatment), which since 2010 has applied genomic testing to drug prescribing, in an effort to avoid adverse drug reactions. He co-directed the Vanderbilt site of the Pharmacogenetics Research Network funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) 2001-2021, and is co-principal investigator for the VUMC site of the NIH Electronic Medical Records and Genomics (eMERGE) Network and the NIH All of Us program’s Data and Research Center. Dr. Roden received his medical degree from McGill University and undertook Fellowships in both Clinical Pharmacology and Cardiology at Vanderbilt
Mary Relling, St. Jude
Pharmacists have long recognized that using unique patient characteristics to guide pharmacotherapy decision-making can improve drug response and mitigate drug-associated risks. Age, weight, and dietary habits were among the first patient-specific characteristics used to individualize pharmacotherapy. As technologies advanced, analytic tools that measure surrogate markers of liver and renal function, together with drug concentrations in biological fluids, were adopted to optimize therapeutic regimens. Cutting-edge genomic technologies are now being integrated into patient care for the selection of targeted therapies and identification of those at increased risk of poor pharmacotherapy outcomes. We’re excited to bring together experts who are advancing pharmacogenomics at scale through cutting edge clinical implementation, research, and education.