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Lee Hartwell on Predictive Medicine

Luke Timmerman at Xconomy Seattle recently sat down with Lee Hartwell, now 70, to discuss his current ambitions — Hartwell was recently elected chief scientist of the Arizona State University Biodesign Institute. "His vision is to create a new wave of precise and predictive diagnostic tests, based on systematic analyses of all sorts of proteins in the blood that could be early warning signs of disease," Timmerman writes. "Armed with that kind of individualized knowledge, physicians would be able to make more informed decisions about patient care, saving resources that are currently wasted." Hartwell tells Xconomy that evidence is the limiting factor in medicine: "It's the ability to know in detail what risks people have for disease, what disease they have, especially at an early stage, and how to respond. The ability to predict our actions in medicine is very, very poor. The system is all oriented toward late-stage intervention with therapeutics." According to Timmerman, Hartwell seeks to improve molecular imaging and determine "the correlations in the vast pools of data that will come from gene sequences, protein analysis, and molecular images" in order to move both basic and medical biology forward.

The Scan

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