UC San Diego Center for Personalized Medicine

Center for Personalized Medicine

The scientific community is often challenged to justify funds that are distributed by the NIH for biomedical research. How do Americans benefit from scientific research? How does research in organisms such as zebra fish, worms, and even yeast contribute to the health of my family? Why does it take so long to see achievements in science translated into hospitals and medical practice? There may not be a better time in history to respond to these questions. Less than ten years ago, if a loved one was diagnosed with cancer, options were limited. Surgery was typically the first option if possible. Cancer chemotherapy medicines were selected based on statistics. Drug A might be selected over Drug B because 50% of patients respond to drug A, whereas 45% respond to Drug B.

Imagine a time when cancer chemotherapy drugs are selected by knowing the absolute sequence of the DNA in the cancer, how mutations in DNA caused the cancer, and which drugs specifically counteract the abnormal function of cancer cells that have genetic mutations. Imagine a time when the possibility that you may have an adverse response to a new drug is not left to chance because we know the exact patterns in human DNA that cause the adverse responses AND we know whether those patterns are present in your DNA. We can sequence your entire genetic code. The time is not decades away. The time is now.

The Center for Personalized Medicine (CPM) is a division of the Department of Pathology dedicated to the research and development activities necessary to transfer the technology for high throughput DNA sequencing, epigenomics, metabolomics, and proteomics into the state-licensed clinical laboratory for our patients. These technologies will allow us to assist physicians in making decisions regarding difficult health problems like never before. The CPM will be located in the UCSD Hospital Center for Advanced Laboratory Medicine (the CALM), our new 90,000 square foot clinical laboratory facility located within a mile of the site for the Jacobs Medical Center.

Researchers and physicians assigned to the CPM and its effort will be leaders in the Per­sonalized Medicine field. Our goal is to establish laboratory tests that can be offered to our patients at reasonable prices. Funding for the CPM will come from extramural grants and donations from the community and private sector partners. For information on how you can help support the Center for Personalized Medicine in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at UCSD, please click here.