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Environmental Precision Medicine: A New Research Paradigm

Part of the Environmental Health Seminar Series

Speaker: Robert O. Wright, MD, MPH.
Ethel H. Wise Professor and Chairman,
Dept. of Environmental Medicine and Public Health
Director, Institute for Exposomic Research
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Abstract: While environment plays a major role in the underlying causes of all complex diseases (neurodegeneration, respiratory health, reproductive health, etc.), its impact on treatment and disease progression is largely unstudied.
In recent years, the concept of “Precision Medicine” (PM) – the individualization of medical treatments to the unique environmental and genetic background of each patient has emerged as a NIH priority. PM is not focused on the underlying causes of disease, but instead on the interactions between disease treatment/progression and a patient’s genetic and/or environmental background.
PM research requires a shift away from purely causal research questions toward research questions that inform treatment and clinical care decisions.
As an initial step towards PM, environmental health research must shift from only assessing the environment that preceded disease to assessing the contemporaneous environment that may be modifying disease progression or treatment effects.
Environmental PM research will need to focus on environmental factors that occur in people with existing chronic disease and follow them longitudinally to inform PM treatment decisions. The potential societal benefit is enormous.

Registration is required. Use the link in the sidebar to register by July 29, 2019. Light refreshments will be provided.