Sunday, March 6, 2016

World Leading Medical Researchers To Be In Malaysia For International Symposium On Precision Medicine

A total of 11 medical researchers from UK, USA and Hong Kong will convene at Sunway University in Malaysia this coming March 22-23 to communicate the latest global developments in precision medicine research and to discuss its implications on the future of healthcare in Malaysia and Southeast Asia at the International Symposium on Precision Medicine (ISPM), themed “The Future of Population Health”.

The Symposium is jointly organised by members of Gonville & Caius College, University of Cambridge; Brasenose College, University of Oxford; Harvard University; and Sunway University. The ISPM will feature distinguished experts from renowned research institutions such as Harvard University, University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, Columbia University, the J Craig Venter Institute, California; and The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Co-hosted by Sunway University, Sunway Medical Centre and the Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences, the event is supported by the Ministry of Health Malaysia and Akademi Sains Malaysia.

Precision medicine is an innovative approach to disease prevention and treatment that take into account differences in people’s genome, environments and lifestyles. This customised approach overcomes the challenge of how some treatments can be successful for some patients and not others. It also gives clinicians tools to better understand the complex mechanisms underlying a patient’s health, disease, or condition, and to better predict which treatments will be the most effective.

Professor Jarlath Ronayne, Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah Distinguished Professor, Sunway University, and member of the International Programme Committee of ISPM said that the speakers will relate their topics to current and emerging healthcare issues such as the rapid rise in diabetes, cancer and other age-related illnesses. Presentations will also cover recent developments and future potential of particular techniques and therapies.


“The Symposium will put Malaysia on the global map for a discussion of great importance. Precision Medicine has the potential to carve out a future where medicines and prevention strategies are tailored for specific patients and populations. This approach will bring improvements in clinical efficacy and treatment safety, reduction in harmful side effects, and health economic benefits. For Malaysia, our leadership in the frontier of healthcare could mean a healthier nation, as well as economic benefits from healthcare tourism,” said Ronayne.

Malaysia is an emerging hub for medical tourism in the Asia-Pacific region and in 2015, Malaysia's medical tourism industry was estimated to earn revenues of USD350 million. Growth rates are above market at 15% year-on-year. Last year, Malaysia was listed among of the countries for ‘Where To Find The Best Healthcare In The World’ for year 2015 by the International Living (a travel journal).

Precision medicine is a term introduced by Dr Mark Boguski, a molecular pathologist from Harvard Medical School into the medical literature in 2009. This term was subsequently adopted by President Barack Obama when unveiling the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) in the United States last year, a bold new research effort to revolutionise healthcare. With a USD 215 million investment allocated in the President’s 2016 Budget, the Precision Medicine Initiative will pioneer a new model
of patient-poweredresearch that promises to accelerate biomedical discoveries and provide clinicians with new tools and knowledge to select which treatments and therapies will work best for which patients.

In the UK, the University of Cambridge’s Biomedical Campus is the hub of the UK Government’s  GBP 50 million Catapult Programme in Precision Medicine.

For more information on the International Precision Medicine Symposium, please log on to:
http://sunway.edu.my/university/precision-medicine-symposium
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