8:30AM (Pacific), June 7, 2015



Mapping BC’s Path to Personalized Medicine
Global experts discuss and recommend best practices for the integration of personalized medicine

Vancouver, BC –The Personalized Medicine Summit  will bring together global leaders from academia, healthcare, industry and government to discuss advances in personalized molecularly-based medicine. The aim is to delineate a pathway for the implementation of personalized medicine (also known as precision medicine) approaches into healthcare in British Columbia (BC).

“In many ways BC constitutes an ideal testing ground for putting a personalized medicine program into practice with its highly integrated single payer health care system and its ethnically diverse and well educated population” Dr. Pieter Cullis, Chair, Personalized Medicine Initiative & Director, Life Sciences Institute, University of British Columbia, “Couple this with our advanced expertise in the development and application of molecularly-based medicine, and BC has a great opportunity to lead the way for Canada.”

An output of the Personalized Medicine Summit will be a Green Paper consultation document for discussion identifying possible paths forward to implement personalized medicine in BC. This Green Paper is intended to catalyze additional input from stakeholder groups (BC and Canadian governments, industry, physicians and health care providers, educators, researchers, citizens, patients) in the following areas:

  • The personalized medicine programs to be implemented in BC:
    • Ways to aggregate and interpret genomic and other ‘omic’ profiles to guide diagnosis and treatment of disease thereby improving individualized healthcare in BC.
    • How to educate stakeholder groups on the benefits of personalized medicine and address ethical issues surrounding its implementation including use of “big data”.
  • Ways in which personalized medicine can improve the long-term economic sustainability of the healthcare system by improving efficiency.
  • Ways in which personalized medicine can be implemented to prevent disease and maintain wellness.
  • Investments required in basic and translational research to advance personalized medicine discoveries into the clinic, our interpretation of personalized medicine breakthroughs using evidence-based methods, and how to translate new knowledge into practice.

Once there is sufficient stakeholder input the Green Paper may result in the production of a White Paper to be released at a later date.

The Personalized Medicine Summit is organized by a consortium of partners including the Personalized Medicine Initiative (PMI), the Life Sciences Institute (LSI) at the University of British Columbia, Genome British Columbia (Genome BC), LifeScience British Columbia (LSBC), The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) and The Centre of Excellence for the Prevention of Organ Failure (PROOF Centre).

The Green Paper is being co-authored with PricewaterhouseCoopers, the title sponsor of the 2015 Summit.


Program details can be found at:

Speakers include:

  • Leroy Hood, President, Institute for Systems Biology, Seattle, Washington
  • Paul Terry, President and CEO, PHEMI Health Systems Inc., Vancouver, BC
  • Joel Dudley, Director, Biomedical Informatics, ICAHN Medical Institute, Mt. Sinai, New York
  • Victoria Pratt, Director of Pharmacogenetics Laboratory, Indiana U, Indianapolis
  • Deborah Money,  Executive Director, Women’s Health Research Institute, BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre, Vancouver, BC
  • Colin Ross, Genotyping Leader, BC Clinical Genomics Network, Vancouver
  • Marco Marra, Director, Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre, BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver, BC
  • Jim Kean, Co-founder and Strategic Advisor, Wellness FX, San Francisco
  • Gordon Bernard, Associate Vice-Chancellor Research, Professor of Medicine, Vanderbilt, Nashville, Tennessee
  • Julio Montaner, Director for the Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS , St. Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver, BC
  • Sir Malcolm Grant, Chairman of the  National Health Service, UK
  • Sean George, President and COO, Invitae, San Francisco, CA
  • Josephine Sollano, Vice President, Head Outcomes & Evidence, Pfizer, New York
  • Jill Hagenkord,  Chief Medical Officer23&Me, Mountain View, CA

Summit Partners:

Personalized Medicine Initiative
The Personalized Medicine Initiative (PMI) is an umbrella organization of personalized medicine stakeholders and resources in British Columbia that has the mission of introducing technologies enabling personalized (molecularly-based) medicine into the front lines of healthcare. With this as a primary objective, the intent of the PMI is delivering improved healthcare for BC and Canadian residents and a more efficient, cost-effective medical system. Projects are identified from advances made in personalized medicine worldwide as well as personalized care initiatives locally. In addition the PMI serves as an educational and information resource for residents and medical practitioners in regard to personalized medicine (particularly as applied to wellness programs). The PMI is led by a Board of Directors that includes Pieter Cullis (Chair), David Huntsman, Bruce McManus, Martin Dawes and James Russell, with input from a broadly-based Advisory Committee that represents a cross-section of interests relating to healthcare, science, technology, ethics, and health policy.

Life Sciences Institute, UBC
The Life Sciences Institute (LSI) is home to more than 800 scientists in 87 research groups drawn from 10 different departments across five faculties. UBC is ranked #1 in Canada in life sciences research by the London Times; the LSI is the largest life science institute at UBC. As the technological hub of the Personalized Medicine Initiative, the LSI is taking a lead role in introducing molecularly based, personalized medicine in the front lines of medical care in BC and Canada.

Genome British Columbia
Genome British Columbia is a catalyst for the life sciences cluster on Canada’s West Coast, and manages a cumulative portfolio of over $710M in 254 research projects and science and technology platforms. Working with governments, academia and industry across sectors such as forestry, fisheries, agriculture, environment, bioenergy, mining and human health, the goal of the organization is to generate social and economic benefits for British Columbia and Canada. Genome BC is supported by the Province of British Columbia, the Government of Canada through Genome Canada and Western Economic Diversification Canada and more than 300 international public and private co-funding partners.

LifeSciences BC
LifeSciences BC is a non-profit, industry association which supports and represents the life sciences community of British Columbia through leadership, facilitation of investment, advocacy and promotion of our world-class life science community. All life sciences sectors, from biopharmaceuticals and medical devices, to bioproducts and bioenergy, forest, agricultural and marine biotech, are a part of LSBC, ensuring that no life science sector is excluded from our support. LifeSciences BC undertakes numerous initiatives including; local, national and international partnerships helping to facilitate investment and global partnering opportunities while nurturing economic development in BC through the life sciences industry.

The Centre for Drug Research and Development
The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) is Canada’s fully-integrated national drug development and commercialization centre, providing expertise and infrastructure to enable researchers from leading health research institutions to advance promising early-stage drug candidates. Our mandate is to de-risk discoveries stemming from publicly-funded health research and transform them into viable investment opportunities for the private sector — thus successfully bridging the commercialization gap between academia and industry, and translating research discoveries into new therapies for patients. Canada’s Networks of Centres of Excellence Program has recognized CDRD as a Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR).

The Centre of Excellence for the Prevention of Organ Failure
The Centre of Excellence for the Prevention of Organ Failure (PROOF Centre) develops actionable blood tests to better predict, diagnose, manage and treat heart, lung and kidney disease. The PROOF Centre is a cross-disciplinary biosignature development engine of partners representing academia, health care, government, industry, patients and the public, convened to improve heart, lung and kidney health and reduce the enormous socioeconomic burden of organ disease. The Centre’s service arm provides expertise in patient cohort assembly, computation, “-omic” science and biomarker workflow to organizations seeking to discover, develop and implement blood-based molecular biomarkers in a clinical setting. The PROOF Centre is a not-for-profit society initially established by the Networks of Centres of Excellence Secretariat under the Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (NCE CECR) Program, and is co-hosted by the University of British Columbia and Providence Health Care in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Sacha Kennedy
Communications Manager, Genome BC
Phone: 604-637-4378