At the Forefront of Precision Medicine
The wisdom that lives in our bodies carries a story. An alive, breathing blueprint that is uniquely ours and no one else’s. In most cases, our bodies hold the key to what we need.
Precision health revolutionizes the part we play in the design of our health. The study of our genes, alongside information about our lifestyle and environment, can help predict which treatments might work best for us. It can also warn us if we are susceptible to addictive medications, such as opioids, or tell us if we are at increased risk for certain cancers so we can make changes to prevent them. Genomic medicine, a key component of precision health, gives insight into the health or illness of not only ourselves, but those around us. For the first time in our history, we empower healthier lives through an ability to predict and prevent disease.
UCLA brings together expertise in clinical genomics, disciplines in fundamental basic research, and a commitment to patient care — all on one campus. The lifesaving power of science is here.
On October 5, 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown convened the Precision Medicine Advisory Committee (PMAC). The group is tasked with making recommendations that can improve health through precision medicine. Dr. Kelsey Martin, Dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, was asked by Governor Brown to co-lead the committee.
The guidance of Dr. Martin and fellow members of the advisory committee is critical to the formation of concrete actions and sound state policies and practices designed to make precision health a reality for all Californians.
At UCLA Health we strive to:
- Provide a home for precision and genomic health activities, including a hub for faculty with a wide range of expertise from all medical school departments, computer science, bio-informatics, and relevant social and physical sciences.
- Facilitate other large-scale initiatives in genomic medicine. Already, the campus has ambitious goals for achieving a major impact on human health through interdisciplinary programs in neuroscience, cardiovascular medicine, metabolic health, cancer, regeneration and degeneration, and immunology and infectious disease. All of these efforts will rely on and contribute to the precision health institute. For example, the Depression Grand Challenge is a campus-wide initiative that involves more than 100 faculty from all schools. At its center, the initiative has a 15-year plan for genomic analysis and longitudinal phenotypic investigation of more than 100,000 participants who are recruited through UCLA Health.
- Provide a transformative platform for big data integration. This includes the development and continued refinement of a computational and bioinformatics infrastructure, as well as new software and hardware tools for the analysis of electronic medical record (EMR) data in conjunction with genetic and genomic data.
- Develop the associated universal consent and bio-banking infrastructure for patient biomaterials. This infrastructure will engage participants; enable the sharing of genomic and EHR data; and ultimately facilitate big data, with its patient-relevant research.
- Create and implement an integrated precision medicine diagnostic service, including genomics and other specialized testing.
- Organize regional genomics initiatives that may be undertaken with institutions in the Greater Los Angeles area and California in general.
- Create a center of multi-disciplinary expertise to engage the community (local, state and national) in its activities and provide a hub for social policy and ethical discussion.
In these efforts, UCLA is building on its already considerable successes in precision medicine across many diverse specialties to change the clinical landscape of a variety of disorders from cardiology, cancer, neurology, and immunology as well as undiagnosed disorders, including autism.
At UCLA Health, our philosophy is founded on the following values:
An Unparalleled Foundation for the Future of Medicine
- Understanding genetic drivers that cause disease.
- Aggregating and integrating genomic data to advance research and clinical care.
- Helping increase the accessibility of DNA-based medicine.
- Increasing and improving personalized treatments for everyone.
A History of Medical Breakthroughs and Genetic Expertise
- World’s leading scientists and physicians.
- Research-focused academic medical center.
- #1 hospital in Los Angeles, #7 in the nation .
- Unrivaled findings in genetic research and discovery.
- Culture built on integration and collaboration.
An Unmatched Foundation for Scientific Discovery
- Innovation within walking distance: medicine, computer science, biotech, ethics and social justice, life sciences, economics, psychiatry, behavioral science, mathematics, public policy, and engineering.
- Access to 4.8-million patients across the UCLA Health system.
A Large Community Representing the World's Population
- Los Angeles is a microcosm of the world, an invaluable opportunity for scientists and patients.
- Diversity is critical to understanding genetic variances among different populations in order to more accurately target treatments based on those differences.
Learn more about our values and the Cultural North Star >