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Precision Medicine

Precision Medicine

Precision medicine is a modern approach to managing health. It identifies treatment and prevention approaches that are effective for a person based on genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. Pharmacogenomics is a part of precision medicine. It is the study of how genes affect a person's response to drugs.

Materials for Precision Medicine


Computing Life

Description: Explore this module to learn more about ways that physicists, biologists and artists are using computers to advance our understanding of biology and health. Sections within the module focus on different research problem, offer examples of current scientific projects and acquaints you with the people conducting the work.

How Is Pharmacogenomics Being Used?

Description: In a small number of cases, doctors are able to use pharmacogenomics in their treatment of patients.

Personal Genomics: The Future of Healthcare?

Description: Personal genomics is an area of genomics focusing specifically on the sequencing and analysis of one person’s genome, and then giving them their genomic information.

Pharmacogenomics and Cancer

Description: Pharmacogenomics is a specific kind of genetic testing that offers key advantages for doctors trying to choose the best drugs for their patients.

Teacher Resources

Introduction to Personal Genetics (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson introduces students to the recent advances in genetics, genetic testing and personal genome sequencing, and presents some of the decisions and ethical challenges an individual may face regarding the use of this technology. It also highlights some of the likely benefits of personal genetics, such as gaining the motivation to take action to reduce health risks, tailoring medicines and interventions, and becoming more active and engaged healthcare consumers.

Personalized Medicine (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Personalized medicine, also referred to as precision medicine, holds great promise to improve healthcare. As the cost of genetic analysis decreases and research advances, it is becoming increasingly possible to include the genetic make-up of a person in the repertoire of tools that inform his or her healthcare. This lesson asks students to delve into the hopes and challenges of personalized medicine and to consider the practical applications of genetic analysis in medicine.

Personalized Medicine (aka Pharmacogenomics) (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: In this teaching module students will learn about the concept of personalized medicine; how differences in our genes affect whether a drug treatment will be successful or have serious side effects, and how we can use this information to customize treatments for individual patients. Students will participate in a hands-on activity to further demonstrate how subtle genetic differences affect a patients response to medication.

Scientific Themes in Personal Genetics (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson introduces students to scientific concepts in genetics that have broad implications for individuals and for society. Students will be asked to consider the role of DNA in our personal and cultural identities as well as our understanding of diversity. They will come away with a perspective that the benefits of personal genetics can only come to light when we understand the potential and the concerns.

Who Owns Rights To Pharmacogenetic Information? (PDF 28.17 KB, Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson examines potential benefits, risks, and ethical concerns of designer drugs.


Milestones in Precisions Medicine

Description: Here a two minute video introducing core concepts of precision medicine and a timeline featuring milestones are available for viewing.

President Obama Speaks on the Precision Medicine Initiative

Description: Watch to learn more about the the Precision Medicine Initiative. This Initiative draws on the remarkable advances in multiple areas, particularly genomics!

The Promise of Precision Medicine

Description: In this two minute video, Jo Handelsman, the Associate Director for Science at the White House, explains precision medicine and how this new medical practice is improving healthcare and American lives.