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Dr. Fraser-Liggett Reports on Impact of Genomics on Personalized Medicine

The Tech Council of Maryland, the largest technology trade association in the state, heard a detailed report on the "Impact of Genomics on Personalized Medicine" at their meeting Dec. 7 from Claire Fraser-Liggett, PhD, director of the Institute for Genome Sciences (IGS) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She cited advances being made in technology and research and concluded with issues to be considered in the future.

Fraser-Liggett is a renowned researcher in the rapidly evolving field of microbial genomics and leads a team of IGS investigators applying large-scale DNA sequencing and analysis to the study of the microbial world to address challenges in disease research, bioterrorism, environmental issues, and other areas. Their innovative work is creating a paradigm shift in the study of microorganisms and how microbes impact human health.

She began with a review of genomic research and an update on rapid advances in technology that are making new research more affordable.

Fraser-Liggett described personalized medicine as "the concept that managing a person's health should be based on an individual patient's individual characteristics."

She explains that the "difficulty comes in that we are not all the same."

Fraser-Liggett explained that the cost of doing a complete human genome sequence dropped from $10,000 to only a few hundred dollars. This led to the 1000 Genomes Project and already some of the results of that research are being reported.

She said cancer treatment is one of the areas in which genomic sequencing "may have one of the most immediate impacts."

Finally, Fraser-Liggett concluded with a look at the future and some of the issues that may lie ahead.

The Tech Council event was held at the University of Maryland BioPark.

The "Impact of Genomics on Personalized Medicine" biobreakfast was sponsored by BioMarker Strategies, Cylex, DynPort Vaccine Co., Emergent BioSolutions, Howard Consulting Group, Inc., Johns Hopkins University, Novavax, Paragon BioServices, Inc., Psyadon Pharmaceuticals, Inc., QIAGEN, University of Maryland BioPark, and VWR International.

Posting Date: 12/09/2010
Contact Name: Ed Fishel
Contact Phone: 410-706-3801
Contact Email: efishel@umaryland.edu