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The Pathway to Genomic Medicine

Author(s): Richard A. Gibbs, PhD

The Pathway to Genomic Medicine

Edited Transcript from “The Pathway to Genomic Medicine,” Richard Gibbs, PhD*
We live in very different worlds—those of research and clinical practice. Genomic medicine, of course, infers that we’re going to bring together genome information and genetics and clinical practice. I feel like much of the time, we know so little about each other’s worlds [clinical and research], even though we’re here [at Baylor College of Medicine] probably nestled together more closely and more intimately than in any other institution in the world. No one else can match our sheer mass of individuals on both sides of that fence.

So I think we have this extraordinary opportunity, to overcome some of the enormous barriers to what we do. So that’s why I jumped at the chance to come and talk here. I feel like every time we collaborate, we add one more little dot in the big mosaic that we’re building. And maybe one day we’ll all stand back and look at that mosaic, and we’ll know exactly what genomic medicine is. In the meantime, I think we kind of have to struggle through to make our own definitions. So what I really want to do today is to give a bit of reality to some of the elements of the whole enterprise, and set the framework from the genomic point of view, as well as outlining how the study of genetics is unfolding in informing human disease.

* Notes in this slide presentation are adapted from the transcript of “The Pathway to Genomic Medicine,” a presentation by Richard Gibbs, PhD, given in August 2007, as part of Baylor College of Medicine’s Department of Medicine Grand Rounds Human Genetics Symposium.