Dr. Ridenour has over two decades of clinical and research experience in etiology, assessment, and clinical research methodologies. One of his foci is developing methods for rigorous analysis of longitudinal, within-person clinical trials using small samples. His recent studies have demonstrated and highlighted the relative strengths and weaknesses of analytic techniques for detecting experimental change within individuals over time, including trajectory analysis and state space modeling. Read his full bio.

Interview with Ty Ridenour from RTI International

Q: What need is RTI International addressing?

A: As an independent research institute, RTI is dedicated to improving the human condition. We answer questions that demand an objective and multidisciplinary approach—one that integrates expertise across the social and laboratory sciences, engineering, and international development.

In the realm of clinical trials, medical and behavioral health care have largely been limited to traditional randomized controlled trial (RCT) designs. RCTs are superb for the acquiring the data for which they were originally designed – efficacy of a treatment in a population. However, for other purposes the utility of RCTs is limited. To illustrate, with greater “precision” in medicine (meaning the application of treatment to more specified types of persons), the RCT requirements for large samples and funding streams generally become less tenable.

Our PersonAlyticsTM idiographic clinical trials (ICTs) approach provides alternatives to RCTs, which are designed to understand within-subject processes that occur in response to a treatment. Under certain conditions (e.g., rare diseases, specific genotypes, early stage drug development, small samples or N=1), ICTs can be used to estimate efficacy. But, perhaps the greatest strength of ICTs is to carefully elucidate how a treatment is affecting individuals as the treatment is delivered and soon thereafter.

Q: What are the products and/or services RTI International offers/develops to address this need? What makes RTI International unique?
A: RTI offers both services and products to help its clients leverage ICT technologies. First, our team has decades of wide-ranging experience in conducting ICTs including drug development for FDA approval, organ transplantation, biosensor-measured outcomes, metabolomics, and psychotherapy (many publications about these studies can be found at: https://personalytics.rti.org/). Second, we provide consultation, collaborative research design, and analytics to support clients’ research and development of treatments and medical devices. Third, we create tailorable software to support patient monitoring and clinical decision-making. One example is Curelator (https://n1-headache.com/), which helps individual patients suffering migraine headaches to identify the triggers/protectors and severity modifiers of his / her migraines; this evidence in turn informs the patient and his / her neurologist of what treatment strategy to pursue in a wholistic and personalized manner. RTI’s software is currently offered as a “white label” product that operates in the background and can be automated for rapid analytics and real-time patient monitoring. RTI is a preeminent non-profit research institution offering expertise across a breadth of health and life sciences, engineering, education and communication sciences, policy, bench science, public health and psychology, environmental sciences, and analytics. Included is RTI Health Solutions, a business unit focused on providing research and advice on clinical, regulatory, market access, and safety programs for pharmaceutical, medical device, and diagnostic companies.
Q: What is your role at RTI International and what excites you about your work?
A: I head the PersonAlytics Team of statisticians and software architects at RTI. As a trained Developmental Behavioral Epidemiologist, I also wear several other hats: NIH-funded researcher, statistician, and developer of medical devices. What gets me out of bed in the morning is the anticipation of making new discoveries that can improve people’s lives. So, by continually improving PersonAlytics services and software, I get to help innovators prepare their treatments and devices to improve people’s health and livelihood.
Q: When thinking about RTI International and the domain RTI International is working in, what are some of the recent breakthroughs that are propelling the field forward and how will they impact healthcare?
A: RTI’s mission is to improve the human condition by turning knowledge into practice, and our researchers apply this mission across a wide breadth of basic and applied sciences. To illustrate the swath of RTI’s research topics, my own first-hand recent collaborations include developing a virtual exercise regimen for patients recovering from heart attack whose health care coverage for physical therapy has run out; identification of marijuana metabolomics that correspond to level of marijuana-induced cognitive dysfunction; validating a biosensor measure of stress based on electrodermal activity levels to test on-the-job stress-reduction interventions; and a clinical trial that is testing a screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment (prevention) for youth at high risk of early-age substance use that can be used during pediatric well-child check-ups. These few examples of RTI’s innovative research are a miniscule sampling of the swath of health care-related work occurring at RTI.
Q: What are the short-term challenges that RTI International and its peers are facing?
A: The most pressing short-term challenge for an organization like RTI is to align with the funding priorities of federal agencies to meet societal needs. For example, within drug abuse research the rise of the opioid epidemic has led to shifts in funding from drug abuse prevention to treatment for heroin addiction and overdose. Another example is that the FDA has recently prioritized speeding up the drug development process to more rapidly get innovative treatments to market. As the research funding landscape evolves, organizations must also evolve to respond with high-quality solutions to the most important scientific and societal challenges we are facing.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to share with the PMWC audience?

A: The RTI International team is looking forward to networking with attendees at PMWC. Precision medicine is at the heart of our PersonAlytics efforts. But, for our methods to move forward and have an impact, we need to collaborate with innovators in health care. We hope to foster those collaborations at PMWC.

Interview with Daniel Chen from IGM Biosciences

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?

A: It’s true that PD-L1/PD-1 inhibitors have led to durable responses in a subset of patients, and survival benefit in many of the patients treated- either as monotherapy or combination.

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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

In January, PMWC will host its 2019 Silicon Valley event, the largest Precision Medicine conference in the world with over 2,500 attendees gathering at the Santa Clara Convention Center. We are humbled and honored to have reached this stage of growth and are looking forward to continuing our work with key stakeholders and decision makers across the industry to ever strengthen this forum for exchange of critical and timely topics, to move the field of precision medicine forward and to improve 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

Q: What are some of the critical contributions that academic institutions and medical centers are making to implement and accelerate precision medicine?

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

Q: What research are you or your lab focusing on and why, and what problem(s) are you trying to solve?

A: My work involves designing, implementing and studying innovations in medical education that allow our medical schools to fulfill our social contract to improve the health of our communities and reduce the suffering of our patients.

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Interview with Gunnar Carlsson from Ayasdi

Q: What need is Ayasdi addressing?

A: Ayasdi is pioneering the application of artificial intelligence to value-based care by targeting two of the most complex problems in healthcare: population risk stratification and clinical variation management.

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Interview with Nikole Kimes from Siolta Therapeutics

Q: What need is Siolta Therapeutics addressing?

A: Chronic diseases, including inflammatory diseases such as asthma, now represent the leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide.

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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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