In an effort to make research information more accessible to the community, Mayo Clinic's three transformational centers — the Center for Individualized Medicine, the Center for Regenerative Medicine, and the Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery — have joined forces with Madonna Living Community to offer a speaker series for members of the residence as well as the local community at large.
On Tuesday, October 20, Dr. Richard Weinshilboum spoke about Pharmacogenomics: Genomics and Drug Response to residents and guests at Madonna's Sister Generose Auditorium.
Dr. Weinshilboum is the Principal Investigator of the Mayo Clinic Pharmacogenomics Research Network (PGRN), funded by the National Institutes of Health. This study is an integrated, multidisciplinary, pharmacogenomics research effort, which applies a “genotype-to-phenotype” research strategy.
He explained pharmacogenomics to the lay audience as “the study of the role of inheritance in individual variation in drug response phenotypes.” Clinically, the goals of pharmacogenomics include avoiding adverse drug reactions, maximizing effectiveness of prescribed drugs, and understanding which drugs will work best for a particular patient.
With drug therapies today being designed for an average patient, Dr. Weinshilboum reminded attendees, "we are Minnesotans, and like Garrison Keillor so often points out – here in the land of Lake Wobegon, we are all above average."
With this in mind, research is being done to look at variations in genes and how these affect our response to therapeutic drugs. Using examples of childhood leukemia, breast cancer, and depression, he demonstrated how genetically sequencing a patient’s DNA can help determine how they will individually respond to a drug treatment, and how having this information can help the prescribing physician determine the right drug at the right dose for their patients.
The next presentation in the Madonna Living Community's speaker series will feature Dr. Ramona DeJesus from Primary Care Internal Medicine and the Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery speaking on the topic of complex care.
The public is welcome to attend this event, which will take place December 17, 1 p.m., Madonna Towers, 4001 19th Avenue NW, Rochester, MN 55901. Free parking is available in the Pax Christi parking lot along 41st Street NW.
Dr. Richard Weinshilboum is a Professor of Pharmacology and Medicine and Mary Lou and John H. Dasburg Professor of Cancer Genomics Research and he directs the Pharmacogenomics Program in the Center for Individualized Medicine.