Research News

Director of Vanderbilt’s DNA databank to discuss reality and hype of personalized medicine

Dan Roden (Vanderbilt University)
Dan Roden (Vanderbilt University)

Are the illnesses we’re likely to encounter in life – as well as the best treatments for them – written in our DNA? Does the key to healing lie within our own genes? The director of Vanderbilt’s DNA databank will discuss the possibilities of personalized medicine in the first Chancellor’s Lecture of the academic year.

Dan Roden, assistant vice chancellor for personalized medicine and director of BioVU and the John A. Oates Institute for Experimental Therapeutics, will talk about “Genomes, Hype and a Realistic Pathway to Personalized Medicine” at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12, in Light Hall, Room 208. A reception will precede the lecture at 4:30 p.m. in Light Hall’s north lobby. The event is free and open to the public, and no reservations are required.

Live video of the lecture will be streamed on the Vanderbilt News website.

Over the past decade, Roden, the William Stokes Chair in Experimental Therapeutics, has led Vanderbilt’s broader efforts in the discovery and implementation of pharmacogenomics – the impact of genetic variation on an individual’s response to drugs. Pharmacogenomics aims to develop rational means for optimizing drug therapy with respect to a patient’s genotype to ensure maximum effectiveness with minimal adverse effects. Roden also serves as principal investigator for the Vanderbilt sites of the National Institutes of Health’s Pharmacogenomics Research Network and the National Human Genome Research Institute’s Electronic Medical Records and Genomics Network.

During his Chancellor’s Lecture, Roden will lead a conversation focused on DNA, genetic variations and the roles they play in effecting health outcomes. Against this background, he will debunk the hype and explain the facts of how modern personalized medicine allows physicians to use a patient’s DNA to tailor the best possible treatment for various illnesses and conditions.

Parking for the event will be available on levels 4-6 of Central Garage, located at 1410 Medical Center Drive.

The Chancellor’s Lecture Series brings to Vanderbilt and to the wider Nashville community intellectuals who are shaping the world today. To receive announcements about Chancellor Lecture Series events or for more information, visit, email or call (615) 322-0885.