06 December 2018
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Predictive medicine – mining the matrix of omics and the environment

The upcoming Health-RI Conference session on the future of predictive P4 Medicine takes a look at the complex interactions that take place in the body in response to genomics, behavior and the environment.

Understanding these complex interactions has the potential to make predictive medicine a powerful tool for risk assessment and patient profiling.

Systems medicine is one of the pillars of P4 Medicine. In attempting to predict the risks to our health or our response to therapy, it recognizes that each of us is not only unique in terms of our genetic make-up, but also unique in the way our internal systems interact with one another in response to the environment – be that the microbiome in our gut, the experiences we have during the first few years of life or the pollutants in the air we breathe.

Holistic in nature, it requires a multi-disciplinary approach that looks at a wide range of health stressors – biochemical, physiological, psychological and environmental – and monitors their effects over a long period of time. At the upcoming Health-RI Conference (Thursday, January 17, 2019 in Utrecht), a parallel session titled ‘P4 Medicine: risks for diseases and adverse intervention outcome are identified, and signs of illness are recognized before it manifests’ takes a look at what’s possible today and what the future could hold.

Using large-scale longitudinal studies in which they are actively involved as examples, Prof. Rinse Weersma, head of the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at University Medical Center Groningen, Prof. Dr. Chantal Kemner, professor of Biological Developmental Psychology at University Medical Center Utrecht, and Prof. Wiesje van der Flier, head of clinical research at the Alzheimer Center in VU University Medical Center Amsterdam, will engage in a dialogue with the audience about the challenges in bringing predictive P4 Medicine to reality and how they can be addressed.

With what we eat increasingly recognized as a determinant of health, Rinse Weersma will highlight an example of how current sequencing technologies and bioinformatics tools are allowing in-depth analysis of the entire gut microbiome, together with its diagnostic potential. Chantal Kemner will use the example of an ongoing study to investigate how developmental differences between children arise as a result of the interplay between child and environmental factors, with a focus on social competence and behavioral skills. Wiesje van der Flier will look at the development of individualized Alzheimer’s disease prediction models to profile patients with mild cognitive impairment.

In what promises to be a highly constructive session that will address the key challenges, you’ll not only get the chance to hear about the latest developments in predictive P4 Medicine in the Netherlands, you’ll also get the chance to put forward your own ideas and opinions. Consulting with and listening to the views of all relevant stakeholders is at the core of Health-RI’s commitment to establishing a single national research infrastructure that will keep the Netherlands at the forefront of life-science research.

Don't forget to register now!