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Innovations in children’s care next topic for new video chat series

Jan. 9, 2012, 4:55 PM

When the human genome was sequenced in 2003, scientists around the world turned their collective attention to discovering what roles genetic variation plays in human health and illness.

Their goal: to use that knowledge to tailor disease treatment and prevention strategies based on an individual’s own DNA blueprint, a concept often called “personalized medicine.”

Today, patients at Vanderbilt University Medical Center are starting to reap the benefits of this research. Vanderbilt is one of a few medical centers beginning to use DNA information to personalize care.

So far, the approach is being used to inform treatment selection for certain patients whose DNA makeup suggests a particular blood thinner or statin may not work for them. It is also being applied in cancer care, where testing of lung cancer and melanoma patients’ tumors for genetic changes is guiding selection of treatments targeting those changes.

Innovations like these are the subject of My Health Chat, a new series of monthly video chats that offers the chance to hear from and ask questions of researchers and physicians on the leading edge of medical advances.

The next My Health Chat will be Wednesday, Jan. 18, at 11:30 a.m. CST, when experts from the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital will discuss and answer questions about discoveries in children’s care.

The guests will be Dr. Scott Baldwin, a pediatric cardiologist; Dr. Judy Aschner, who directs neonatology; and Dr. Margaret Rush, who leads our pediatrics faculty as acting department chair. Dr. Jim Jirjis, Vanderbilt’s chief clinical information officer, serves as host and moderator.

The chats are free, of course, and streamed live on Facebook and at the Vanderbilt Health website, where previous chats are archived and the future schedule is posted.

We hope you’ll join us. Learn about the series and sign up for January’s and/or future chats here.

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