Much of medicine today is based on large-scale trials and the average responses of thousands of people.
But, we are entering a future in which medicine will be personalized - a future in which your particular variety of disease can be identified at the molecular level, even from information contained in a single cell, and then you can be given the treatment with the best chance for success for you, with the least side effects.
Less trial-and-error, more precision.
Precision Medicine is a program that connects AD&T affiliates and their research to physicians, hospitals, medical companies, and other clinical partners around the U.S. It is dedicated to finding new ways to diagnose and treat a range of critical and costly health conditions through a focus on individual variability and personalized care. While many other precision medicine efforts are genomics-based, AD&T's Precision Medicine program highlights Notre Dame's strengths in proteomics, metabolomics, and other fields that study the mechanisms of disease within cells.
For more information, in general, about precision medicine, please visit our Other Sources page.
The practice of precision medicine is emerging quickly, particularly in oncology, but there is still a long way to go to apply it broadly across healthcare. There are many difficult scientific questions still to be asked and answered and there are many challenges in turning a discovery in the lab into a tested and widely accepted tool for doctors.
Within these broad categories, we are working on such efforts as:
- improved diagnostics and treatments for sepsis, the leading cause of death from infection in the world and the costliest condition for U.S. hospitals
- a better diagnostic and prognostic tool that takes into account the genetic differences in colon cancers
- a new field-deployable biochip platform for tracking viruses and biowarfare agents
- cutting-edge treatments for diabetic wound healing
- biotechnologies the reduce resistance to chemotherapeutics for multiple myeloma and breast cancer
Within AD&T, new discoveries in precision medicine are made through a rapidly growing program in which analytical scientists and bioengineers collaborate directly with physicians, health systems, and healthcare companies to find solutions to widespread high-mortality and high-cost diseases and conditions.
Some current Precision Medicine projects include:
Theranostic Targeting of Atherosclerosis with Janus Nanoparticles
Cardiovascular disease is among the leading causes of death worldwide with the vast majority attributable to atherosclerosis. This project proposes to develop a dual-function nanoparticle to facilitate MRI and X-ray CT/spectral CT imaging for diagnosis of atherosclerosis, coupled with supramolecular receptors to act as pre-target sites for subsequent therapy in treating atherosclerotic lesions. (PIs: Webber and Nallathamby)
Overcoming Resistance to Targeted Anti-Cancer Therapy through Single Cell Transcriptome Profiling Guided Combinatorial Immunotherapy
This interdisciplinary project will utilize cutting-edge single cell RNA data to predict mechanism of resistance that emerge during treatment of breast cancer with targeted therapeutics. Single cell RNA data, which demonstrates the heterogeneity of both tumor and microenvironmental immune cells, will be used to design therapeutic strategies to overcome drug resistance. The ultimate goal of this project is to precisely predict the evolving path of the drug resistance to guide clinical breast cancer treatment strategies that will eliminate breast cancer before the development of clinically untreatable resistance. (PIs: Zhang and Bilgicer)
Through our partners, both internal and external, we are focusing our research on a growing list of urgent medical problems, including cancer, infectious diseases, severe inflammatory conditions, chronic wound healing, and congenital birth defects.
The University of Notre Dame (ND) and Feinstein Institute for Medical Research (FIMR) Precision Medicine Research Fellowships are competitive awards given annually to highly qualified undergraduate and graduate students from Notre Dame that enable them to spend eight weeks in summer residence conducting laboratory and clinical research at the Feinstein Institute in Manhasset, New York.
For full details, please see https://advanceddiagnostics.nd.edu/opportunities/precision-medicine-research-fellowships-at-fimr/.