Genomics Expert Joel Dudley on Data-Driven Revolution

[ 0 ] July 17, 2013 |

Personal genomics will improve doctors’ ability to diagnose and treat disease, predicts Dr. Joel Dudley, assistant professor of genetics and genomic sciences and director of biomedical informatics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. “While it’s clear that medicine needs to be more data-driven and information driven, what genomics really enforces is that, with genome sequencing technologies on a single patient we can measure six billion letters efficiently and relatively inexpensively,” he says. Personal genomics can teach us how we develop and grow, how we interact with our environment, how we get sick, how we get well, and how we age. “There’s a lot of information in there that is relevant to the patient’s health,” Dudley says.

Watch Dr. Joel Dudley discuss the genomics revolution at the 2013 Aspen Ideas Festival:

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Dudley believes the medical field is lagging in its adoption of technology. “Healthcare is really far behind in terms of adopting all types of technologies and also behind in leveraging the wealth of data they have,” Dudley says. By implementing new technologies, the medical field can make huge gains, he says.

Certain technologies, like genomics and electronic medical record data, are already having a large impact on the way hospitals are being run, particularly Mount Sinai. By combining different types of information, “we’re already able to apply some algorithms to see who could be readmitted in 30 days and to intervene and prevent that.” Such information enables a more efficient use of emergency facilities, Dudley says.

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Dr. Joel Dudley

Mount Sinai is also running a pilot study called the BioMe Biobank, which Dudley describes as an “unprecedented resource. We have up to 25,000 individuals and their full electronic medical record data and their genomes. So, an unbelievable amount of information on a very large population.”

New resources, like the pilot study being run at Mount Sinai, are helping fuel pharmacogenomic studies. Pharmacogenomics is how genetics will influence the body’s response to a drug and whether a patient will need more or less than the average dose. “There’s already many well known cases, one with a blood thinner  — Warfarin, which is also known as Coumadin — where we know you have one genetic variant that will cause you to respond differently to this drug,” Dudley says. He believes such resources are vastly underused in healthcare.

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Category: Aspen Ideas Festival 2013

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About Joel Dudley: Dr. Joel Dudley is a veteran bioinformatics scientist with expertise in genomic medicine, translational bioinformatics, personal genomics, evolutionary biology, drug discovery, and molecular diagnostics. Joel has authored numerous research publications in peer-review academic journals covering [...]
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