Precision Medicine @ Aspen Ideas Festival
The Forum @ Aspen Ideas Festival delves into the emerging fields of precision and personalized medicine. How are they transforming the treatment of chronic and infectious disease? Joining Bridget Kendall, two of the top public health officials in the US; Margaret Hamburg at the FDA, and Thomas Frieden at the CDC. We also hear from drugs company CEO Tony Coles, and get the views of a lively audience in Aspen. Photo © All rights reserved by aspeninstitute-internal.
As Director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr Frieden works to control threats from infectious diseases and deals with health emergencies. Increasingly this might involve sequencing the genome of an individual microbe, and then interpreting the results in order to determine how the CDC should respond. While this kind of ‘bio-informatics’ mapping can now be done in a matter of hours rather than weeks, Tom says the challenge now is to develop the science and to ensure the data are fully interpreted and understood. Photo © All rights reserved by aspeninstitute-internal.
Tony Coles is the CEO and Chairman of Onyx Pharmaceuticals, a California-based biotech drugs company. They have three drugs on the market, to treat kidney and blood cancers. He believes that we have moved from the age of serendipity in drug discovery to an age of biology, where an enhanced understanding of the causes of disease, and of the human genome, has led to ‘smart’ drugs that can specifically target tumour cells, as well as predict potential side effects of a treatment for sub-groups of patients. Tony says the ultimate goal is to turn cancer into a chronic disease. Photo © All rights reserved by aspeninstitute-internal.