Networking, science communications, public engagement and advocacy for convergence science

Convergence 2015
Sell out event ....watch this space for extracts of transcripts

Found in Translation? Delivering the Promise of Precision Health and Medicine

12 October 2015

Medical research and healthcare is undergoing a major transformation thanks to the 'genomic revolution' that emerged from the Human Genome Project of the early 1990’s.  Reading an individual’s genetic code, or DNA, provides medical practitioners with important information about the individual’s risk of suffering various diseases and explains why patients show different responses to treatments.  Armed with information from an individual’s DNA, a GP or specialist is able to make a more accurate diagnosis and recommend effective therapeutic and preventive strategies.

This transformation is called Precision Medicine, or Personalized Medicine.  In this new vision, healthcare is driven by the analysis of large amounts of genomic data. Precision Medicine is about providing the right treatment for the right person at the right time.

Precision Medicine is credited with impacting the diagnosis and therapeutic treatment of cancers, rare diseases, infectious disease and the development of new drugs.  It is being used to better understand cancer, mental health, diabetes and infectious diseases such as Ebola, to name only a few.

The proponents of Precision Medicine claim deliverable benefits include lower mortality and morbidity, rapid development of pharmaceuticals, a healthier population and the lowering of healthcare costs, through its impact on cutting hospital admissions, speedier discharge from hospital, and reduced waste from prescribing inappropriate medications.

This enthusiasm for this new paradigm in healthcare has led to a number of governments around the world announcing initiatives that sequence the DNA of a large number of the population as a first, and critical, step in delivering on the promise of Precision Medicine.  In his 2015 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama announced a US$215 Million Precision Medicine Initiative for fiscal 2016 that will sequence the genome of 1 million Americans.  In a similar initiative, the UK Government has announced the 100,000 Genomics England Project.  Recently, the Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance was established to deliver genomic medicine into everyday healthcare.

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) recently recognised four health centres across Australia as among the best for using medical research to improve patient care.  The Advanced Health Research Translation Centres are collaborations including hospitals, universities and medical research institutions to foster research translation.

While Precision Medicine has attracted significant media attention for its promise to treat existing diseases and conditions, Precision Health, on the other hand, emphasises delivering improved health through the prediction and prevention of diseases before they manifest.  This approach relies on analysing information from many data sources to provide an evidence-based approach to medicine.  Prevention strategies may in many instances prescribe changing the behaviour of individuals or target populations.

Against this promise of curing disease and delivering better health, governments, are increasingly facing challenges in providing quality healthcare. The population is ageing, healthcare budgets continue to grow, and there is pressure to reduce spending for medical and health research.  In these circumstances, how do governments decide whether to promote and support a Precision Medicine approach versus a Precision Health approach ?  Which of these offer a better translation of medical and health research into patient treatment more quickly and at lower cost.

  • What are we – researchers, clinicians, health policy experts, medical and health research funding bodies, the healthcare system, patients and the wider public – to make of these claims of an exciting future for medicine and healthcare?
  • What can Australia learn from this important development and how well are we positioned to benefit from it?
  • What challenges do we face as a nation if we are to realize the promise of Precision Health and Medicine for all Australians?

Australia is in the process of establishing the Medical Research Future Fund, an AUD$20B endowment to support medical and health research.  We need to ask whether a Precision Health and Medicine perspective can guide the Fund’s goals and its implementation.

The Convergence Science Network’s 2015 Symposium, Found in Translation? - Delivering the Promise of Precision Health and Medicine, will bring a uniquely Australian perspective to these claims and provide for an informed and practical conversation about the promises being offered by Precision Health and Medicine and the challenges in implementing them for improved health outcomes.

Issues addressed by the symposium will include:

• The promise of Precision Health and Medicine is appealing, but how do we translate this in practice, and how long will it take?

• Can Precision Medicine & Precision Health assist governments in deciding where to spend their scarce funds to deliver improved health outcomes of its citizens?

• What is the role of data science in translating research into clinical impact?

• What about patients? How do they make sense of the Precision Medicine and Health approaches to improved health?  Have their expectations for the treatment of disease been affected? How do they decide what to do?

• What role can Digital Health and other innovations play in Precision Health and Medicine?

 

Who should attend?

The symposium is aimed at a individuals across the medical, research and healthcare sectors.  Individuals in the following institutions will find this symposium of benefit.

 • Health and medical researchers, students

 • Clinicians

 • Health policy experts

 • Hospital administrators

 • Research institutions & Universities

 • Health funding bodies

 • Patient advocacy groups.

Attendees will:

• be better informed about the current state of Precision Health and Medicine and the challenges in delivering clinical impact from research,

• hear from a range of experts in their field, covering research, research translation, commercial development and patient ethics, and;

• have extended opportunities for networking and establishing new relationships.

 

ATTENDANCE IS FREE OF CHARGE, BUT PLACES ARE LIMITED.

 

Enquiries

Mr Luan Ismahil
Executive Director
Convergence Science Network
Building 261, University of Melbourne
203 Bouverie Street, Carlton Victoria 3053

Telephone:  (03) 8344-8405
Email: l.ismahil@convergencesciencenetwork.org.au

 

THE SPEAKERS

Mr Jon Evans, Director, Office of Health Innovation and Reform, Department of Health and
Human Services

Associate Professor Clara Gaff,
Program Leader, Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance

Associate Professor Lyn Gillam,
Clinical Ethicist and Academic Director of the Children’s Bioethics Centre at the Royal Children’s Hospital & Associate Professor in Health Ethics at the Centre for Health and Society, University of Melbourne

Mr Chris Kommatas,
Founder Health 2.0 Melbourne

Dr Cecil Lynch,
Chief Medical Information Officer, Accenture Health & Public Service (US)

Dr Kevin Lynch,
Vice President, Clinical Development and Medical Affairs, Celgene Asia-Pacific

Dr Priscilla Rogers,
Manager Healthcare Research, IBM Research Australia – Big Data & Health

Associate Professor Jake Shortt,
Clinical Lead, Monash Haematology, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University

Professor Paul Waring,
Centre for Translational Pathology, University of Melbourne & Member, Medical Services Advisory Committee (Department of Health (Australian Government))

Professor Ingrid Winship,
Executive Director Research, Melbourne Health & Professor of Adult Clinical Genetics, University of Melbourne

 

THE PROGRAM

08:15 Registration

08:45 Welcome and introductions

08:50 Mr Frank McGuire, Parliamentary Secretary for Medical Research - Opening Address

09:00 Professor Ingrid Winship, Executive Director Research, Melbourne Health & Professor of Adult Clinical Genetics, University of Melbourne - Precision Medicine – Are we there yet?

09:15  Professor Paul Waring, Centre for Translational Pathology, University of Melbourne & Member, Medical Services Advisory Committee (Department of Health - Australian Government) - Precision vs Personalised Medicine

09:30 Dr Cecil Lynch, Chief Medical Information Officer, Accenture Health & Public Service (US)
- The Role of Big Data in Precision Medicine – An Example of the Art of the Possible

09:45 Dr Kevin Lynch, Vice President, Clinical Development and Medical Affairs, Celgene Asia-Pacific - Precision Medicine and Future Pharmaceutical Development for Cancer

10:00 Mr Jon Evans, Director, Office of Health Innovation and Reform, Department of Health and
Human Services

10:15 Panel Q&A

10:45 Morning tea

11:15 Dr Priscilla Rogers, Manager Healthcare Research, IBM Research Australia – Leveraging data and analytics for a smarter health system

11:30 Associate Prof. Clara Gaff, Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance -  Implementing genomics in the clinic: a collaborative approach

11:45 Associate Prof. Jake Shortt, Utilising the lymphoma genome to aim magic bullets, Monash University – Lymphoma/Leukaemia

12:00 Prof. Lynn Gillam, Children's Bioethics Centre, Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne – A patient perspective

12:15 Mr Chris Kommatas, Founder Health 2.0 - Digital Health: Fad or Forever?

12:25 Panel Q&A

12:55 Wrap up - Prof. Lyn Gillam

13:00 Close & Lunch

 

 

REGISTRATION DETAILS

Date:  Monday, 12 October, 2015
Venue:  Meeting Room 213
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
South Wharf, Melbourne

Time
Start:  08.15am (registration)
Finish: 1.00pm (Followed by lunch)
Cost:  No charge

About the Convergence Forum

The Convergence Science Network will announce a series of events in early 2015.  Our program will include presentations from science thought leaders and practitioners, events where we explore topical issues in more depth and we¹ll be presenting some of our brightest scientists who will share their exciting work in convergence science.

Graeme Clark Oration

The Graeme Clark Oration is delivered by global leaders in science in honour of Prof. Graeme Clark’s pioneering work in developing the bionic ear in Melbourne in the 1970’s.  It is recognised as Australia’s most prestigious free public science event and is attended by secondary school students.

Convergence Science Symposium

The Convergence Science Network is an initiative that promotes an understanding of convergence science to the community, why it is important and how it is helping researchers and businesses realise their visions in delivering improved health and well-being.

Join our community

The Convergence Science Network is excited about its networking activities and is inviting organisations to join this unique science communication and engagement initiative.

Contact us to find out the exclusive benefits available to Network sponsors.  We also offer an  Individual Membership package of benefits.

We Engage with the community to share developments in convergence science and how these advances impact medicine and health care.

We Inspire the research community, start-ups, existing businesses,  government agencies and schools to take advantage of the opportunities offered by convergence science.

We Create the environment and opportunities for new ideas, knowledge and resources across different science disciplines to come together to improve health.

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