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Indiana University to Launch Personalized Medicine Institute

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Indiana University plans to use $11.3 million to start the Indiana Institute for Personalized Medicine, which will pursue genome-based and pharmacogenomics studies in cardiology, obstetrics, pediatrics, cancer, and other areas, IU said today.

The institute will conduct research, train new specialists in personalized medicine, and work to translate its discoveries into more precise therapeutics. The training program will be funded and supported through the new Brater Scholarship in Personalized Medicine, which will select three scholars this summer.

A panel of IU scientists will form an advisory panel that will aid other researches moving their research beyond the lab stages. The panel will have 21 members initially. In addition, an external advisory board with five members will provide input for the new institute.

"To identify more precisely which drugs are likely to be more effective — or less effective and more toxic — will have a substantial impact on optimizing health care delivery and rationally curbing costs," Patrick Loehrer, director of the IU Simon Cancer Center, said in a statement.

David Flockhart, a professor of epidemiology and genetics at IU who will direct the institute, said that starting a focused institute "allows you to really jump start research and raise the level of participation of an institution in both the laboratory and in the clinic, in a broad range of research interests.

"Much of the future of health care is in personalized medicine, meaning more precise targeting of the right medication to the right patient at the right time," he added.

The new institute will also will receive funding and support from the IU School of Medicine and its Department of Medicine, The Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, the Indiana Physician Scientist Initiative, and the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center.

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