Yale School of Medicine Hosts Conference on Pharmacogenetics Revolution

Scientists and executives from top universities and pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies will speak about the emerging field of pharmacogenetics at Yale University April 25.

Scientists and executives from top universities and pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies will speak about the emerging field of pharmacogenetics at Yale University April 25.

The Third Annual Genaissance Pharmacogenetics Lectures, “Pharmacogenetics: The Timing is Now,” will be hosted by Yale School of Medicine. The symposium will provide an update on current developments in “personalized medicine,” which is the study of how small differences in genetic makeup can be used to predict drug response and potentially improve treatment results.

The study of genetic variation among individuals is one of today’s most promising areas of medical research. In the past, new medical therapies have been developed for the human population at large, without accounting for the small but critical differences in how individuals contract disease and respond to treatments.

With the advent of modern genomics technologies and the resources now being directed at understanding the Human Genome, drug makers are trying to make connections between variations in genes and drug response. It is this connection that would tailor medication to a patient’s genetic makeup.

Key topics to be addressed by speakers include: “Public Policy Issues for Pharmacogenetics,” by Carl Peck, M.D., professor of pharmacology and medical director at Georgetown University Medical Center; “The SNP Consortium: Building an Alphabet for Genetic Epidemiology,” by Arthur Holden, chief executive officer of The SNP Consortium; and “Pharmacogenetic Strategies for Drug Marketing,” by Craig Q. Fitzgerald, vice president of commercial genetics, Glaxo Wellcome.

Richard P. Lifton, M.D., chairman of the Department of Genetics at Yale, will moderate one of two panel discussions featuring all speakers at the symposium.

Genaissance Pharmaceuticals, which is co-sponsoring the Yale symposium, was founded in 1997 with the goal of fine-tuning existing drugs and tailoring new drugs to individual patients based on genetics. Gualberto Ruano, M.D., chief executive officer of Genaissance, will deliver opening remarks at the day-long conference.

The symposium will be held in Yale’s Harkness Auditorium at the Sterling Hall of Medicine, 333 Cedar St., New Haven. A reception will follow at Genaissance Pharmaceuticals.

For additional information on the symposium or a complete meeting program, please contact Sharon Karlsberg at Feinstein Kean Healthcare, 617-577-8110, x267 or at www.fkhealth.com.

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