Personalized Medicine – One size does not fit all!

How can knowing your genetic code help you? Genetic conditions, ones you are born with or are predisposed to, affect people of all ages, race, and gender. The treatment for these conditions are not so universal and recent research shows that patient-specific treatment can produce a better response and reduce the risk of side effects. Knowing what diseases you’re predisposed to can even allow you to take preventive actions to drastically decrease your chances of getting the disease. Emerging technologies, such as CRISPR-Cas9, zinc finger, and other gene therapies, have brought personalized medicine to the forefront of medical research and hope for finding cures to genetic diseases.

Panelists: Elizabeth McNally, PhD, MD is the Director for the Center for Genetic Medicine at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine and the Elizabeth J. Ward Professor of Genetic Medicine. Dr. McNally trained in Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Medicine at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital with postdoctoral training in Genetics at Children’s Hospital/Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Boston. Dr. McNally directs the Cardiovascular Genetics Program at the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute, which specializes in providing integrated cardiovascular and genetic evaluation for those with cardiomyopathies and other inherited CV disorders. Dr. McNally’s research is in the genetic mechanisms that lead to heart failure and neuromuscular diseases. Dr. McNally was named a Charles E. Culpeper Medical Scholar and an Established Investigator of the American Heart Association. She has also been recognized for her translational work by the Burroughs Wellcome Foundation and as a recipient of the Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. She serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, and CURE SMA. She is a past president of American Society for Clinical Investigation and a member of the Association of American Physicians.

Thomas P. Shanley, MD is Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and Founders’ Board Centennial Professor and Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. He also serves as President and Chief Research Officer of the Stanley Manne Children’s Research Institute. Dr. Shanley is an internationally renowned physician leader and researcher in pediatric critical care. As a clinician, he specializes in the treatment of children with hypoxemic respiratory failure from lung disease and septic shock triggered by infection. Over the course of his career, he has conducted basic, translational and clinical research and has a keen interest in making the translational spectrum more efficient so that benefits reach patients faster. Dr. Shanley currently is the principal investigator on six National Institutes of Health (NIH)-sponsored projects and has authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications. He sits on the steering committee of the NIH’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, which aims to speed the delivery of new treatments to patients.

James Sullivan, PhD is Vice President, Discovery. In this role, he is responsible for AbbVie’s research efforts in a variety of diseases including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, hepatitis C, and a number of autoimmune disorders. He oversees a global network of scientists that includes AbbVie researchers at sites in the United States and Europe, and external research partners around the world. Dr. Sullivan is a member of the R&D Leadership Team that has responsibility for the advancement of compounds in all stages of development, the Executive Licensing Steering Committee and the Scientific Governing Board for Abbvie. He is also an executive sponsor for the AbbVie Women in Science organization. Jim joined Abbott in 1991 and has held various positions in the R&D organization.

Jim has advanced more than 100 compounds into clinical development across a number of disease states and technology platforms. These include AbbVie’s recently launched combination product for HCV, the-first-in- class Bcl2 selective inhibitor, Venclexta and multiple compounds currently in Phase II or III trials. He has authored/co-authored more than 130 scientific publications and is an inventor on 11 patents. Jim is an adjunct faculty member at Northwestern University and serves on the board of a number of companies and foundations including Alector, Regis Technologies, Accelerator, BIO, MATTER, and C2ST. He earned his bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. in biochemistry from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, and conducted post-doctoral research in neurobiology at Northwestern University.

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