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The future of precision medicine

In April 2003, researchers from the Human Genome Project published the result of their painstaking work; a complete sequencing of the human genome. This ground-breaking feat has ushered in the current “post genomic” era of medicine, whereby medical treatment is becoming increasingly personalised towards an individual’s specific lifestyle and genetic makeup.

Precision medicine has a particularly important role in the treatment of inherited diseases and cancer, as physicians often screen for genetic makers in their patients, such as the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Genomics can also be used to guide oncologists to determine which drugs will be most effective in shrinking a malignant tumour, creating a precise form of attack against the faulty cells.

Yet, it is increasingly clear that clinicians are only tapping the surface of what precision medicine can offer. Despite huge advances in the underlying science, research and development of new medical products has steadily fallen – leaving patients at the mercy of life-limiting illnesses. In the video series below, Professor Richard Barker discusses why precision medicine is so important, and offers some solutions to the problems it faces today.

Richard Barker discusses his vision for the future of precision medicine and the challenge of turning huge research projects into routine medical practice.

Is there a need for public education on precision medicine, especially the importance of data security?

Should the biomedical industry be less regulated?

In this final video, Professor Barker explains his worries over the “innovation gap” in bioscience, the five potential causes behind it, as well as the solution: precision medicine.

Featured image credit: DNA-String-Biology by qimono. CC0 Public Domain via Pixabay.

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