This morning, Penn State Hershey dedicated its Institute for Personalized Medicine, unveiling new space and equipment supported by $2.85 million in National Institutes of Health funds and $1.5 million in state tobacco settlement CURE grant funds.
The institute’s first initiative, which began in December, is development of a biorepository to collect, process, and store — with informed consent — blood and tissue samples from patients who visit Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and its outpatient practice sites.
Together with information stored in the electronic health record, this secure bank of de-identified biological samples will allow scientists and physicians to use next generation sequencing technologies and advanced computational methods to develop better ways to diagnose, treat or cure certain diseases and illnesses, according to a news release.
Dr. Harold L. Paz, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Health System CEO, said medicine has always been personal but the institute is working to be able “to help each person tailor the healthiest possible lifestyle, and when necessary, to treat each patient with an individually designed medication.”
The institute was launched in February 2012 under the leadership of James Broach. It collaborates closely with departments and other institutes across the Hershey campus.
The public can learn more about personalized medicine and participating in the Penn State Hershey biorepository at two town hall sessions in March: 7 p.m. March 5 at the University Conference Center on the Penn State Hershey campus, and 7 p.m. March 19 at Penn State Hershey Medical Group—Camp Hill.
More information on these sessions will be available soon on the institute’s website.