Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine is a global leader in precision medicine research, practice and education, dedicated to accelerating discoveries and unlocking the secrets of disease. Through the center's leadership in personalizing medicine to transform health care, all patients will soon have access to genome sequencing and multi-omic solutions when needed, as well as therapeutics tailored to their unique genomes for hard-to-treat cancers and rare disorders.
To advance this goal, the Center for Individualized Medicine aligns its programs across four distinct but complementary focus areas:
- Beyond DNA
- Genomics in Action
- High-Definition Therapeutics
- Omics Data Platform
Genome sequencing is an incredibly powerful tool, but limiting the scope of research to people's DNA doesn't provide the whole picture. Programs in the Beyond DNA focus area advance patient care by using molecular information from the microbiome, the study of bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses that live inside the body; epigenomics, the study of chemical modifications of a cell's genetic material; proteomics, the study of proteins in a cell; metabolomics, the study of chemical processes to identify the underlying causes of diseases; and additional omics-based approaches to expand what we can learn with genomics.
This multi-omic approach improves individualized medicine testing, diagnosis and treatment by providing a more complete understanding of the causes of health and disease. It drives the development of new tools to solve clinical challenges and address the unmet needs of patients with cancer, arthritis, neurodegenerative disease and other complex illnesses.
The Epigenomics Program examines factors outside of DNA that can change the DNA structure or influence how genes are expressed. These factors include proteins near the DNA helix and environmental factors such as diet; lifestyle; and exposure to pollution, chemicals or radiation. Characterizing these factors and their effects may help patients reduce risk factors for disease and allow scientists to pinpoint new molecular targets for diagnosis and therapy.
The Microbiome Program studies how the naturally occurring bacteria populations in each person's body help maintain health and how disrupting these bacteria can lead to health problems. Researchers are finding ways to manipulate the microbiome to treat diseases and conditions such as colon cancer, clostridium difficile infection and irritable bowel syndrome.
Genomics in Action
Genomics in Action programs transform the practice by making it easier for clinicians to use genomics in routine patient care. The goal is to offer genomic sequencing to every patient by 2030. Doing so requires simplifying, automating, scaling and integrating genomic approaches into the clinical practice — while preparing the health care teams that will use them.
The Center for Individualized Medicine aims to meet the needs of patients across the enterprise through population health genomics, cancer diagnosis and care, and identification of rare and undiagnosed diseases. To accomplish this, Genomics in Action programs are finding the best and fastest ways to introduce new technologies and workflows into patient care, simplifying access to genomic tools and automating large-scale genomic sequencing. At the same time, the center creates and offers education programs and resources to advance the individualized medicine "workforce of the future" that's scalable, patient-focused and practice-driven.
The Clinomics Program accelerates the translation of discoveries from the research lab to patient care by integrating genomic data into clinical systems and creating new tools that enable doctors to access, visualize and use genomic information. Clinicians and scientists collaborate with multidisciplinary experts to advance health care for cancer, rare and undiagnosed diseases, and predictive testing.
The Center for Individualized Medicine educates care teams, researchers, patients and communities about how genomic information is used to improve health care. The program helps build the precision medicine workforce of the future by training current and future health care team members to become expert providers of world-class individualized patient care.
Translational Omics Program
The Translational Omics Program analyzes multiple types of omic data to interpret genetic testing results and apply findings to patient care. Test results give researchers critical information about the possible causes of previously undiagnosed diseases and help identify new treatment strategies to improve patient care.
Research programs focused on High-Definition Therapeutics drive precision medicine science beyond diagnostics to provide personalized cures for patients across Mayo Clinic — particularly those with cancer, genetic disorders, or chronic or infectious disease.
These programs use the patients' own genes, naturally occurring viruses and bacteria, new knowledge about drug-gene interactions, artificial intelligence, and other emerging technologies to find precision therapeutics that offer new hope. We use advanced technologies to select the best existing treatments more consistently and effectively and design new therapies engineered to target patients' specific disease characteristics on a molecular level.
The Pharmacogenomics Program studies how specific drugs react with patients' genes to identify the right medication for the right person at the right time and dose. Researchers translate discoveries into patient care by embedding drug-gene best-practice alerts in the electronic health record and using drug-gene testing in clinical treatment studies for breast cancer, prostate cancer and coronary artery disease.
Precision Cancer Therapeutics Program
The Precision Cancer Therapeutics Program facilitates the rapid translation of genomics-based cancer therapies into clinical practice. The program brings together specialists in cancer biology, cancer therapeutics, genomics and other areas to identify the most promising therapeutic targets and quickly moves them into the clinic as clinical studies. These studies have the potential to transform care for patients with cancer.
Omics Data Platform
The purpose of the Center for Individualized Medicine's Omics Data Platform is to centralize staggering amounts of genomic and multi-omic data into a single repository and then leverage the system and associated tools to make the data and corresponding knowledge easily accessible and helpful to Mayo Clinic's physicians and researchers.
Programs supporting the Omics Data Platform develop and refine strategies and tools to capture and align these assets in ways that enable easy access for everyday use in precision medicine patient care and research. Omics Data Platform programs partner with teams in other focus areas to deliver data for the clinical practice and align with institutional priorities for clinical data analytics, advanced diagnostics and novel therapeutics.
The platform's data scientists collaborate with other organizations to generate test results and knowledge assets, including integrated multi-omic analytics and advanced interpretation tools powered by artificial intelligence.
The Bioinformatics Program supports individualized medicine research by taking "raw" genomic sequencing data and processing, analyzing and interpreting it, ultimately leading to personalized tests and treatments for patients.
Information Technology Program
The Information Technology Program provides resources to support the center's next-generation sequencing, including high-speed servers for identifying genomic variants and storing millions of gigabytes of data. The program also develops applications for validating and optimizing new laboratory tests and managing clinical trials.
Infrastructure and support
The Center for Individualized Medicine provides technical resources, expertise and services that ensure the most recent information and processes are available to all medical providers, whether they're treating patients at Mayo Clinic or worldwide.
The Bioethics Program develops strategies for integrating genomic technologies into health care while always prioritizing the patient's best interests. Program activities include providing ethics consultations and education, supporting community advisory boards, engaging the larger community, and providing national leadership on ethical issues in genomic medicine.
The Biorepositories Program maintains several biospecimen collections — including the 50,000-plus participant Mayo Clinic Biobank — and provides laboratory services to investigators at Mayo Clinic, in industry and at other research institutions. This program supplies specimens to precision medicine researchers that advance genomic and molecular discovery and clinical translation.