At our July Health TechNet meeting, we discussed the fascinating and ever-evolving applications of genomics and personalized medicine, with a special focus on Inova's new Translational Medicine Institute and its initial concentration on pediatrics and neonatology. Genomic medicine is a challenging area that has been slower to evolve than was originally thought but is picking up momentum through applications and investment by the private sector in such areas as pharmaceuticals and special specific disease applications.
The meeting featured the presentations of Scott Pickens, partner with Clinton Rubin LLC, and Dr. Robin Baker, President of Fairfax Neonatal Associates, FNA (the exclusive provider of neonatology services at several Inova hospitals). Mr. Pickens provided us with an overview of the status and issues relating to personalized genomic medicine, and Dr. Baker described FNA's vision of genomic research at Inova and their partnership to collect genetic data of parents and infants to determine the causes of premature births and other childhood conditions, such as autism. (The Inova initiative is headed by John Niederhuber, a former director of the National Cancer Institute.)
The presentations of the speakers were followed by an interactive discussion among our members of the many issues and dilemmas facing personalized medicine, including ethical issues, the tension between evidence-based standardized medicine and individualized treatments, privacy issues, insurance rating concerns, and others.