Wall Street Journal Features Coriell


The Wall Street Journal highlights Coriell Institute as a leader in the field of personalized health care.

In a series of articles focused on personalized health using genetic information, Michael Christman, PhD, the Institute's President and CEO, and Erynn Gordon, MS, CGC, Coriell's Director of Genetic Counseling, discuss the innovative efforts taking place at Coriell.

In Tailored Treatment: The New Era of Personalized Medicine, Dr. Christman describes the importance of genetics in prescribing medications, mentioning "up to 30 percent of people prescribed [clopidogrel, a popular blood thinner] do not activate the drug, and may as well take sugar pills." In this case, there are alternative medications that may work for those individuals. Genome-informed medicine promises the right drug at the right dose being prescribed at the right time. Also discussed was the need for safeguards to be put into place. Dr. Christman explains the organization of a scientific advisory panel called the Informed Cohort Oversight Board, or ICOB, that assists Coriell's CPMC Study Team in determining what genetic information is considered actionable. The activities of the ICOB, largely supported by the RNR Foundation, are proving instrumental to the study's longevity; as research discoveries continue to expand, the study adds new genetic associations to the risk information returned to study participants.

Dr. Christman was also interviewed about the significance of preparing physicians to structure diagnosis and treatment to incorporate genomics into routine clinical care for a segment titled Training Doctors: Interpreting Genetic Data for Patients. "In my view, genetic information will not be widely adopted until it's easy for doctors to use," notes Dr. Christman. "It may be up to the private sector to interpret genomic information and put it in a digestible form that doctors can use at the point of care."

In the final piece, Pathway to Prevention: Using Genetic Information in Healthcare, the challenges of converting genetic analysis in the lab into disease prevention and treatment in the clinic were discussed. Ms. Gordon shares the results of Coriell's behavior study which examined lifestyle changes of individuals who received personalized risk reports through the Coriell Personalized Medicine Collaborative informing them of risks for disease and how they will react to various medications. Interestingly, the groups were evenly split into three: ones who changed their lifestyles because of their risk results, ones who planned to change their behavior, and one who had no intentions of changing behavior.

To learn more about Coriell's efforts in personalized medicine, click here.

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