FEB 24, 2016 07:00 AM PST

Towards precision medicine

  • Associate Professor of Medicine (Cardiovascular), of Genetics and, by courtesy, of Pathology at the Stanford University Medical Center
      Born and raised in Scotland, Euan Ashley graduated with 1st class Honors in Physiology and Medicine from the University of Glasgow. He completed medical residency and a PhD in molecular physiology at the University of Oxford before moving to Stanford University where he trained in cardiology and advanced heart failure, joining the faculty in 2006. His group is focused on precision medicine. In 2010, he led the team that carried out the first clinical interpretation of a human genome. The paper published in the Lancet was the focus of over 300 news stories, became one of the most cited articles in clinical medicine that year, and was featured in the Genome Exhibition at the Smithsonian in DC. The team extended the approach in 2011 to a family of four and now routinely applies genome sequencing to the diagnosis of patients at Stanford hospital where Dr Ashley directs the Clinical Genome Service and the Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Disease. In 2013, Dr Ashley was recognized by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy for his contributions to Personalized Medicine. In 2014, Dr Ashley became co-chair of the steering committee of the NIH Undiagnosed Diseases Network. Dr Ashley is co-Principal Investigator of the MyHeartCounts study, launched in collaboration with Apple in 2015. Dr Ashley is a recipient of the National Innovation Award from the American Heart Association (AHA) and a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director's New Innovator Award. He is a peer reviewer for the NIH and the AHA as well as multiple scientific and medical journals. He is Senior Associate Editor of Circulation Cardiovascular Genetics and a member of the Editorial board of Molecular Case Studies. He is co-founder of Personalis Inc, a genome scale genetic diagnostics company founded in 2012 operating now in more than 10 countries around the world. Father to three young Americans, in his ‘spare' time, he tries to understand American football, plays the saxophone, and conducts research on the health benefits of single malt Scotch whisky.


    Understanding disease at a deeper level so that it can be targeted more precisely is the essence of precision medicine. Rapid technological advance, particularly in genomics and sensor-based continuous measurement, has facilitated the advance towards this new era. In this talk, I will give examples of precision medicine, show studies on sensor based monitoring including on Apple’s ResearchKit platform, and present a new framework for the integration of this data with the Electronic Medical Record.

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