BAR HARBOR, MAINE – What is precision medicine? How will the emergence of precision medicine affect you? What are benefits of precision medicine to public health? What are the challenges, barriers and risks of broad implementation?
Instead of the one-size-fits-all solutions that have been the mainstay of medicine for so many years, precision medicine — sometimes referred to as personalized medicine — offers therapies, practices, interventions and/or products that are tailored to individual patients based on genetic, genomic and clinical information about their susceptibility to disease, course of disease and response to treatment.
Precision medicine, said former President Barack Obama in announcing a national precision medicine initiative in 2015, “gives us one of the greatest opportunities for new medical breakthroughs that we have ever seen.”
Josephine P. Briggs, M.D., will address the subject of precision medicine at an MDI Science Café on Monday, July 24, entitled, “Precision and Imprecision: Science and the Art of Medicine” or “What Precisely is Personalized Medicine?” The talk will be held at 5 p.m. at the Maine Center for Biomedical Innovation on the campus of the MDI Biological Laboratory in Bar Harbor.
Briggs is a nephrologist and director of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), an agency of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the leading federal agency for research on diverse medical and health care systems, practices and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine.
Her expertise in precision medicine comes from her position as former interim director of the NIH Precision Medicine Initiative® Cohort Program, whose mission is to enable a new era of precision medicine.
Briggs’ talk will begin with an introduction to the methods of modern “evidence-based medicine,” including the critical role that rigorous studies, particularly randomized clinical trials, play in assessing the benefits and risks of medical therapies. Her talk will be illustrated with examples showing how rigorous trials of both conventional and alternative therapies often produce surprises.
She will also talk about the vision for precision medicine, which is built on the expectation that new precision medicine methods will yield approaches to many common health conditions that are better tailored to the individual.
Briggs will address the All of Us Research Program, a major part of the NIH Precision Medicine Initiative. The program is an historic effort to gather health data from a million or more U.S. volunteers over many years to improve health outcomes, fuel the development of new treatments for disease and catalyze a new era of evidence-based and more precise preventive care and treatment.
MDI Science Cafés are offered to promote scientific literacy and increase public engagement with science. The popular events offer a chance to hear directly from speakers about trends in science. Short presentations delivered in everyday language are followed by lively, informal discussion. Briggs’ talk is the third in a series of six cafés to be held through mid-September.
The MDI Biological Laboratory’s 2017 Art Meets Science exhibit is also being held at the Maine Center for Biomedical Innovation. The doors will open at 4:30 p.m. to allow MDI Science Café participants to view the exhibit.
The cafés are sponsored by Bar Harbor Bank & Trust and Cross Insurance. Refreshments will be served. For more information, please visit mdibl.org/events/ or call 207-288-3147.
About the MDI Biological Laboratory
Our scientists are pioneering new approaches to regenerative medicine focused on drugs that activate our natural ability to heal, and that slow age-related degenerative changes. Our unique approach has identified new drugs with the potential to treat major diseases, demonstrating that regeneration could be as simple as taking a pill. As innovators and entrepreneurs, we also teach what we know. Our Maine Center for Biomedical Innovation prepares students for 21st century careers and equips entrepreneurs with the skills and resources to turn great ideas into successful products. For more information, please visit mdibl.org.