Six scientific pillars – or areas of scientific focus – have been formed, which are applied to each disease area of focus for precision health. Each pillar informs the next, in the search for better treatments, prevention and cures for each disease.
The genomic medicine pillar focuses on basic research into the genetic components that shape disease development and individual response to therapeutic interventions. Those leading and working in genomic medicine aim to dramatically increase the number of identified genetic markers that contribute to disease development and individual response to treatments, as well as enhance the use of genomic knowledge by tailoring medical management to the individual characteristics of each patient.
Cell, Gene, and Immune Therapy
A person’s immune system is the first to respond to any systemic health threat. An individual’s genetic makeup can affect the mechanism of this response. The goal of the cell, gene, and immune therapy scientific pillar is to investigate the genetic and molecular mechanisms of human immune response to specific diseases, and develop gene and cellular-level interventions to improve patients’ health.
Chemical Biology and Biotherapeutics
The chemical biology and biotherapeutics scientific pillar carry out basic chemical research of fundamental importance to precision health, investigating the cellular processes that are impacted by aberrations in gene expression or protein function. Understanding the relationships between gene expression and protein activity is fundamental to our ability to identify and develop patient-specific therapeutics or diagnostic agents.
Data and Informatics
In addition to direct biomedical interventions, precision health faces challenges in creating, understanding, analyzing, storing, and securing large amounts of heterogeneous data. To overcome these obstacles, informatics is integral.
Psychosocial, Behavioral and Ethics
The full potential of precision health can only be realized when the effort goes beyond the lab and the clinic and engages patients and their communities in both the health management strategies, and the research effort. The behavioral, psychosocial and ethics scientific pillar enables the fulfillment of that potential through robust patient engagement and a focus on the ethical conduct of research and healthcare.
Regenerative Medicine and Engineering
Regenerative medicine is the process of creating living, functional tissues to repair or replace tissue or organ function loss. It involves the injection of stem or progenitor cells, the induction of generation by biologically active molecules, and transplantation of in vitro-grown organs and tissues.