OSU Medical School Adds Personalized Medicine Curriculum with P4 Program for New Doctors

Captured by GenomeWeb (PGx Reporter)

Twenty students from the Ohio State University College of Medicine’s class of 2014 are spending the summer in a pilot program with an emphasis on genomics as well as lower-tech methods to individualize care.

Led by Kandamurugu Manickam, a geneticist at OSU’s Center for Personalized Health Care, the inaugural class takes place this summer as a pilot project to determine how to integrate P4 — short for predictive, preventive, personalized, and participatory medicine — material into the medical school’s new curriculum beginning in 2012.

Manickam told PGx Reporter this week that many universities are interested in adding programs in personalized medicine, but that OSU’s P4 approach sets the program apart. “Places have talked about doing [this], but [they have placed] most of the emphasis on genetics, which is why we are really unique, in looking at all these factors,” he said.

P4 medicine is the brainchild of Leroy Hood, president of the Institute for Systems Biology, which partnered with OSU in 2009 to form the P4 Medical Institute (PGx Reporter 10/7/2009). The program’s goal is to transform healthcare “from a reactive system to one that predicts and prevents disease, and tailors diagnosis and therapy to the individual consumer.”

P4 encapsulates a broad approach that includes an emphasis on low-tech and low-cost preventative measures in addition to ‘omics based personalization, according to Manickam. ” I’m a geneticist, but one of the things we’ve kind of recognized is that genetics is expensive to do, but there are less expensive ways to get good outcomes,” he said. However, genomics is still a large part of P4, he explained, and will become more and more so, as pharmacogenomics and genetic testing develop further.

OSU plans to explore P4 through a variety of clinical programs and the pilot course is a separate push by the university to integrate P4 principles into its educational programs. “We’ve been trying a lot of clinical ideas at Ohio State in this area,” Manickam said. “But we wanted to [provide] a little more education [on the P4 paradigm] for medical students.” Read more…

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