Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Watson, Francis.....and The SHERPA!!!!!

Remember how I said that June is going to be one heck of a ride? Well, what a way to kick it off. Yesterday I attended the "Personalized Medicine Revolution" at Brown University. My team drove 3 hours from NYC to Rhode Island to attend and trust me....It was worth it. I want to recap in some coherent and readable fashion so I will break it into 3 posts throughout the day.

Post 1 The Welcoming Remarks by Dean of Brown Medical School Eli Adashi and Rep. Patrick Kennedy.

I find it interesting that the introductory remarks are given by an REI specialist. Especially after what was disclosed to me.

"Future Pundit talks about the role of Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis and its ever expanding uses. The specter of looks and intelligence for PGD rears its ugly head. Do I think this is a slippery slope, you bet. Especially when at the REI conference this April there were comments such as "We are the new geneticists" and "We determine mankind's fate" were heard by my Specialist friend. Yikes here comes Aldous........"

In addition, the lack of REI oversight in this country was addressed by Dr Thomas Murray PhD CEO of the Hastings Center . But I will save that for a later post. Dr Adashi did make a funny though. He showed a slide of Jim Watson receiving a copy of his genome on CD from Jonathan Rothberg. Dr Adashi said "I am happy to say I just received my copy from Netflix!" to the laughter of the crowd. Lastly he closed with a comparison many of us make. "Just like the microbiology revolution...........Genome based medicine is inevitable and It's here today."

Still, the welcome was warm and the stage was set for an exciting day of "Personalized Medicine!"

The next comments came from the sponsor of the conference, US Representative Patrick Kennedy. First I would like to say I have no political attachment to either party so what follows is merely my observations as a citizen of the United States.

At first it was difficult to understand his accent. Second it was tough to listen to his ummmms and uhhhhs. Thirdly he had a tendency to say "you know". But once I got past the "nerves/Billy Madison-isms" what he had to say was pretty amazing. Representative Kennedy is a huge ally in the fight for the right drug, for the right person, at the right dose. He went on to detail how proud of Rhode Island he was, he talked about his mental health initiatives and how personalized medicine will help those with mental illness. Frankly, I was very impressed with what support and knowledge came from his mouth.

Next post............Francis Collins and "Reports from the Front Lines of the Revolution!!!"

The Sherpa Says: Viva La Revolucion!

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