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Precision medicine expert to speak at UT May 12

A precision medicine expert working to bring whole genome sequencing into a clinical setting will speak at The University of Toledo at 2 p.m. Thursday, May 12 in Collier Building Room 1000A on Health Science Campus.

Dr. Howard Jacob

Dr. Howard Jacob

Dr. Howard Jacob, president of Envision Genomics and executive vice president for genomic medicine at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Alabama, is visiting UT as part of a Distinguished Lecture series.

“Dr. Jacob is an international authority in the area of genomic medicine. He has had pioneering success in the application of whole genome sequencing technology to diagnose rare diseases,” said Dr. Bina Joe, chair of the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology. “Dr. Jacob’s team is known worldwide as the first to identify a genetic mutation responsible for an undiagnosed illness in a child. That identification led to successful treatment.”

According to the National Institutes of Health, precision medicine – also known as personalized medicine – is an emerging approach for disease treatment and prevention that takes into account individual variability in genes, environment and lifestyle of each person.

President Barack Obama is an advocate for the movement to use genetics, genomics and data to provide individualized health care, instead of generalized trial results or guidelines for the average patient. In 2015 the White House launched the Precision Medicine Initiative, a new research effort to help change the future of medicine to bring closer cures for cancer and diabetes.

“Dr. Jacob is expected to educate and invigorate our campus community regarding the progress and prospects of whole genome sequencing as applicable to each individual in our community, as well as on the much broader mission of UTMC to provide the best health care to our communities,” Joe said. “I hope we will have a better perspective on the benefits, risks and challenges of bringing genomic medicine to the people of northwest Ohio.”



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