The Penn project, to be headed by Stephen E Kimmel, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, will also establish a new interdisciplinary field called Human Pharmacogenomic Epidemiology (HPE). HPE will bring together the disciplines of genetics, bioinformatics, pharmacology, epidemiology, biostatistics, and bioethics. But HPE is not simply the merger of multiple disciplines, working in parallel or sequence, but rather a new archetype of research that will develop novel ways of working synergistically to address the scientific, logistical, and intellectual barriers to interdisciplinary research. Recent advances have paved the way for significant gains in understanding how genetic variability can alter drug response. Despite this promise, the nature of gene-drug interactions is complex, and progress in the field has been hampered by the lack of a genuine interdisciplinary approach.
"Biomedical research has been typically grouped into separate, departmentally based specialties, often functioning independently of each other," explains Kimmel. "But it has become clear that progress in medicine is a dynamic, multi-faceted process. The conventional divisions within biomedical research may hamper the pace of scientific discovery and ultimately, deliverable benefits to patients. This problem is particularly relevant in our understanding of the influence that genes have on the response to medications. This award will expand the range of study into an exceedingly important biomedical problem and t
Contact: Karen Kreeger
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine