An initiative untaken by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, The New York Stem Cell Foundation Research Institute and Bloomberg Philanthropies is designed to boost precision medicine research and assist researchers in understanding disease pathways for more customized care, according to an article by Jessica Kent in Health Analytics IT.
Combining the medical expertise of Johns Hopkins with the stem cell technologies of the NYSCF Research Institute, the collaboration will expedite the Johns Hopkins’ Precision Medicine Initiative, which includes 16 Precision Medicine Centers of Excellence. It will create a collection of human disease models accessible to researchers around the world, providing real-world applications of precision medicine and improving disease treatments. Building on previous efforts from Johns Hopkins’ Precision Medicine Initiative, which plans to build 50 Precision Medicine Centers in the next five years, the initiative will enable researchers to improve the diagnosis and management of a wide range of diseases.
According to Johns Hopkins President Ronald J. Daniels, “Johns Hopkins is working intensively to realize the great promise of precision medicine for all those in our care, locally and globally. This significant new collaboration with Bloomberg Philanthropies and NYSCF moves us ever closer to that aim as we join together our far-reaching research capacities to advance knowledge and deliver better health outcomes for populations and people around the world.”
To enhance the knowledge of researchers in disease differences in patients, stem cell models could provide a “biological avatar” of the patient for customized research. In the collaboration researchers will delve into disease characteristics in subgroups of patients and discover disease markers that could result in different disease manifestations.
“Stem cell science holds enormous potential for the treatment of a wide range of diseases,” explained Paul B. Rothman, dean of the School of Medicine and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine. “By combining this approach with Johns Hopkins' groundbreaking work on precision medicine, we are creating a scientific powerhouse that will help us advance medicine and science at an even faster pace. I am excited to see the discoveries and innovations that will be produced by this collaboration.”
Consenting patients in the Johns Hopkins Centers of Excellence will donate biological samples to the researchers. Scientists from the NYSCF Research Institute will develop stem cell models of disease by means of machine learning and robotics. Researchers will work with the stem cells to produce effective therapeutic and diagnostic development for diseases including multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, chronic renal failure and several kinds of cancers. These stem cell lines will remain in the NYSCF Repository, providing a resource for disease researchers and showing new ways to treat complex conditions.
According to NYSCF CEO Susan L. Solomon, “The NYSCF Research Institute has invented and scaled the most advanced methods of human cell manipulation, which is critical for studying disease at the level of the individual patient. By combining our capabilities with Johns Hopkins' extensive clinical data and expertise, we will be able to develop effective, personalized therapies for patients suffering from diseases with a high unmet need.”
Michael Bloomberg summarized, “Bloomberg Philanthropies' mission is to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. For years, Johns Hopkins University and the New York Stem Cell Foundation have shared that mission – and we're honored to deepen our partnerships with them as they explore new, innovative ways to save lives through the application of precision medicine.”