Duke hosts Precision Medicine World Conference

May 26, 2017 – The DCRI’s Robert Califf, MD, was among the speakers at the gathering of academics, entrepreneurs, and healthcare professionals.

Hundreds of people representing a broad spectrum of healthcare, research and technology converged on Duke University on May 24 and 25 for the Precision Medicine World Conference (PMWC). The gathering spotlighted the rapid growth of biomedical technologies spurring initiatives that enable the translation of precision medicine into direct improvements in healthcare.

The conference, co-hosted by Duke Health and Duke University, marked the first time the PMWC was held on the East Coast. This year’s theme was “Translating the Power of Precision Technologies into Better Health Care.” More than 30 sessions were held over the two days, featuring a total of more than 100 speakers from the healthcare and biotechnology sectors.

Geoffrey Ginsburg, MD, PhD (pictured), director of Duke Center for Applied Genomics and Precision Medicine and conference co-chair along with Chancellor Emeritus Ralph Snyderman, MD, said the meeting reflects a powerful convergence of important disciplines – ranging from genome sciences and data sciences to information technology, tissue and genetic engineering, behavioral science, and immune and cancer biology.

Francis Collins, MD, PhD, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), outlined NIH’s “All of Us” precision medicine initiative to study the impact of genes and environment. The study hopes to enroll 32,000 volunteers by the end of 2017 and 1 million by 2022. The data it collects will be accessible to researchers.

“This is a pretty exciting time to contemplate where we are in precision medicine and where we are going,” said Collins. Collins later received a PMWC Luminary Award, which recognizes recent contributions of leaders who have accelerated personalized medicine into the clinical marketplace.

The conference was co-hosted by Ginsburg and Snyderman.