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Unique Conference Spotlights the use of Genomic Insights to Improve Treatment of Pediatric Patients

More than 200 scientists and clinicians from around the world attended the first Pediatric Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine Conference, hosted by Children’s Mercy in April 2010.

“The whole growth of understanding of human variability, of human heterogeneity, and the role of genetic variation in creating variable response in children has been going on for years at Children’s Mercy. So it’s only natural that we would host the first conference of its kind to focus solely on advancing pediatric personalized medicine.”

J. Steven Leeder, PharmD, PhD, Division Director, Clinical Pharmacology and Medical Toxicology

Experts from academia, government and the private sectors in the U.S., Canada and Japan exchanged knowledge centering on clinical applications, bioethics and development of pediatric personalized medicine programs. It was an opportunity to bring together clinicians, basic and translational scientists and allied health care practitioners to engage in multi- and cross-disciplinary dialogues aimed at implementing personalized medicine in pediatric settings. They also explored the ethical, legal and societal implications of pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine that are unique to children.

Supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the conference is expected to become an annual event, providing a forum for the presentation and dissemination of research related to the application of pharmacogenomic strategies to investigations of the variability of drug disposition and response in children. By sharing discoveries about the use of genomic tools in medical problems, Children’s Mercy and other conference organizers seek to advance the development of treatments tailored to the unique make-up of pediatric patients and improve outcomes.