Medicine Gets Personal

At Columbia, “personalized medicine” is more than a buzz term: It’s a university-wide commitment to harness the institution’s vast intellectual and technological resources across disciplines to change the fundamental approaches to both medical research and patient care.

In February of this year, Columbia President Lee Bollinger announced the formation of a 41-member task force to explore the potential of personalized medicine. The task force, which comprises faculty from the four medical center schools, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, senior CUMC leadership, Morningside faculty and administrators, Columbia Trustees, and the CUMC Board of Advisors, is co-chaired by P&S Dean Lee Goldman, President Bollinger, and Columbia Provost John Coatsworth.

In a feature story in the current issue of Columbia Medicine magazine, Aliyah Baruchin details how the new approach will affect research, patient care, and the increasingly close relationship between them. The new discipline known as network medicine, for example, looks at the entire network of biological processes at work in complex diseases. The idea is to use data from gene, protein, and metabolic interactions, in conjunction with clinical observations and an understanding of disease and pharmacologic processes, to develop the best, most “personalized,” treatment for each patient.

Read the full story here.