Genes Reveal Recipe For Good Health

 In Media releases, News

The incorporation of personal genomic information into patient records would see Australians live healthier lives for longer, according to 2017 Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI) BioInfoSummer Public Lecturer and Executive Director of Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Professor John Mattick AO.

Professor Mattick believes routine access to this information will one day provide a treasure trove of information that will lead the complete transformation of medicine.

“Many of the diseases and health challenges currently burdening our health system will be prevented or caught in the early stages, reducing costs and care needed,” says Professor Mattick.

Limited testing for specific diseases has already shown the benefits of genome sequencing to diagnose genetic conditions and advise on disease risk, and the capability to look at the whole genome is set to be a game changer.

“A full picture of a person’s biology and predisposition to disease would open up the opportunity to act early and prevent or cure diseases. Knowing a patient is at risk for cancer or genetic cardiac disease for example, provides opportunity for early interventions such as a pacemaker to prevent cardiac arrest or regular screening for cancer in high-risk individuals,” says Professor Mattick.

Insights into genetic risks and individual biology may also reduce hospitalisations from prescription drug reactions. Knowing a patient’s likely response to therapies may open the way for personalised regimes that ensure safety and effectiveness.

“A repertoire of enzymes determines how fast we clear foreign compounds. Too slow and they can reach toxic levels, too fast and the drug won’t work. Having this information means we can prescribe accordingly,” says Professor Mattick.

Away from the bedside, this integration of genomics with clinical and other data, for example from personal devices, will revolutionise medical research and the management of the healthcare system, Prof Mattick believes. It will create enormous opportunities for innovation and radically advance our understanding of what it is to be human.

“Mathematics such as biostatistics and bioinformatics, as well as machine learning and artificial intelligence will be critical to making sense of this avalanche of data, ensuring we can fast-track discovery and clinical translation,” says Professor Mattick.

Join Professor Mattick for the 2017 AMSI BioInfoSummer Public Lecture from 6pm, Wednesday, 6 December in Lecture theatre K309, Monash University (Caulfield Campus). Members of the public can register online at http://bis.amsi.org.au/public-lecture/.

This lecture is part of AMSI BioInfoSummer 2017 hosted by Monash University (Caulfield campus). Australia’s leading bioinformatics and mathematical and computational biology training event, students, researchers and field professionals are exposed to cutting-edge discovery and technology in this fast-paced and exciting field.

“This year’s public lecture exemplifies the dynamic and ever-evolving impact of bioinformatics on biological understanding and healthcare. BioinfoSummer is an important part of AMSI’s ongoing training opportunities to help build the mathematical workforce need to position Australia as a STEM innovation leader,” says AMSI Director, Professor Geoff Prince.

AMSI BioInfoSummer is jointly funded by the Department of Education and Training and the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute, with support from Monash University, the Australian Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Society and EMBL Australia.

Discover AMSI BioInfoSummer online at: http://bis.amsi.org.au

For more on Professor Mattick and his public lecture: bis.amsi.org.au/public-lecture/

For Interview:
Professor John Mattick, Executive Director, Garvan Institute of Medical Research
Professor Geoff Prince, AMSI Director

Media Contact: Laura Watson
E: media@amsi.org.au
M: 04215 18733
P: +613 9035 3683

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