Pillar No. 1: Knowledge Network
With an increased ability to harvest information automatically and more powerfully, scientists can find the connections among discoveries that would otherwise go unrecognized.
Twenty years ago, if only one person out of hundreds went into remission during a clinical trial for a cancer drug, that patient would have been considered just plain lucky and the therapy deemed a failure. But today, with a host of tools garnered from precision medicine, one person’s “good luck” can be leveraged into a precise and effective therapy for countless others whose tumors have a similar genetic profile.
Precision medicine explores the interplay of all aspects of human health, including not just genetics, but also environment, behavior, and lifestyle. Multiple layers of population information are entered into technological tools that have the unprecedented power to distill worldwide data down to a solution for just one person.
In late 2011, a National Academy of Sciences committee passionately endorsed precision medicine as the best means to explore the cause, development, cure, and prevention of the world’s most daunting illnesses. Its co-chair was UC San Francisco Chancellor Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH, a resident alumna.
UCSF stands among the global leaders working to move this nascent field forward. The institution's six-pillar platform of methods, tools, and resources will support precision medicine efforts everywhere. Our experts across all disciplines are giving new hope to billions of patients, one by one, around the world. Read on to find out how.