Posted on: January 2, 2018

One Size Does Not Fit All: Towards Precision & Personalized Healthcare


Hal Slavkin, Professor and Dean Emeritus from USC, returns to Crowell Library January 9th, with a new class about the recent advances in healthcare based on new understanding of the human genome.  In six sessions, participants will explore healthcare and biotechnology, with a focus on the new personalized healthcare options.

It was not that long ago when physicians, dentists, pharmacists, nurses and other healthcare professionals had only a few treatment options for patients with seemingly similar diagnosis for illnesses or disorders. The result was that some patients responded well to treatment while others did not.  Now healthcare providers consider factors such as genotype (an inventory of all that person’s genes), phenotype (the sum of observable characteristics from hair color to cardiac function) and the environment (epigenetics) in which the individual exists.  Understanding the interaction of all these factors in one person is being termed “precision medicine” – a sophisticated assessment of each person’s genome, epigenome, phenotype, growth and development history, environment, behaviors, and susceptibility to certain diseases and disorders, so that precise high definition protocols can be tailored for individual personalized health.

This course will demonstrate how phenotype connects with genotype; the principles underlying the development and evolutionary process of how an organism grows; and how novel and innovative gene editing techniques can address major human diseases and disorders such as birth defects, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, pulmonary disorders, periodontal diseases, cancers, mental diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases and disorders.

Professor and Dean Emeritus at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry, University of Southern California, Hal Slavkin has served as Chair of Biochemistry, and as the Director for the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda. He lives in Marina Del Rey.

Learn how modern healthcare is trying to make living and growing older so much easier and better.


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