Current projects in personalized medicine at Vanderbilt

Individual variation at the genetic level may be used to predict a patient's response to treatment.

Genetics vs. environment: epigenetic modifications

Identifying and mitigating health disparities

DNA sequencing

Current Projects

Pharmacogenomic Resource for Enhanced Decisions in Care & Treatment (PREDICT). Vanderbilt University has launched PREDICT, a program of preemptive pharmacogenetics testing coupled to real-time decision support: when a drug is prescribed to a patient with pharmacogenetic variants important for that drug, the electronic healthcare system responds with real-time advice on dose adjustment or alternate drugs. 

Pharmacogenomics Research Network (PGRN). The mission of the PGRN is to catalyze and lead research in precision medicine for the discovery and translation of genomic variation influencing therapeutic and adverse drug effects. After 20 years of National Institute of Health funding, PGRN is now an independent scientific society in which Vanderbilt participates. The Vanderbilt site of PGRN focuses on understanding the molecular and cellular basis of drug-induced long QT syndrome and the Stevens-Johnson/Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis Syndrome and using phenomic scanning in the EMR to identify potential new adverse drug reactions and drug repurposing opportunities.  [Dan RodenElizabeth Phillips]

Electronic Medical Records and Genomics (eMERGE) Network. Vanderbilt has been a site in the eMERGE Network since 2007. eMERGE is a consortium of U.S. medical research institutions that brings together researchers with a wide range of expertise in genomics, statistics, ethics, informatics, and clinical medicine from leading medical research institutions across the country to conduct research in genomics, including discovery, clinical implementation, and public resources.  [Wei-Qi Wei, Digna Velez Edwards]

Electronic Medical Records and Genomics (eMERGE) Network Coordinating Center Vanderbilt is home to eMERGE Coordinating Center which provides a suite of support to the Network. [Josh Peterson

Integrated, Individualized, and Intelligent Prescribing (I3P) – the Vanderbilt site of the NHGRI’s Implementing GeNomics In PracTicE (IGNITE II) Network. The Vanderbilt I3P site of IGNITE II is performing a multi-site test of the implementation of genomic medicine by embedding genetic information within electronic medical records in diverse healthcare environments to show that this is not only achievable but also can alter physician behavior toward a vision of personalized medicine. I3P is part of the larger IGNITE II program, which is driven by the need to accelerate the pace of incorporating patients’ genomic information into clinical care and to carefully evaluate implementation efforts. [Josh Peterson, Sara Van Driest

STAR Clinical Research Network (CRN through PCORI)The STAR CRN includes: (1) Vanderbilt Health System; (2) the Vanderbilt Healthcare Affiliated Network: (3) Meharry Medical College; (4) UNC Health Care System; (5) Duke Health System; (6) Health Sciences South Carolina; (7) Atrium Health (formerly Wake Forest); and (8) Mayo Clinic. These systems comprise scores of academic and community hospitals, hundreds of practices and well over 10M patients. The populations cared for by STAR members are diverse in age, race, ethnicity and urban/rural status. The objective of  our CRN is to robustly support projects in comparative effectiveness research, pragmatic clinical trials, and other key research areas. [Russell Rothman

Data and Research Center, Precision Medicine Initiative All of Us Research ProgramThis program, now rebranded as the All of Us program, is a national study of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors affecting the health of a million or more people.  In July 2016, Vanderbilt was chosen to lead the creation and operation of the PMI Data and Research Support Center. The role of the center is to acquire and organize what will become an enormous and extraordinarily diverse dataset of precision medicine indicators and to provide research support and analysis tools to the scientists who will mine it. Major partners include the Broad Institute and Verily/Google.  [Dan Roden, Paul Harris

Center of Excellence in Precision Medicine and Population HealthThe Vanderbilt-Miami-Meharry Center of Excellence in Precision Medicine and Population Health brings together institutions and faculty with substantial expertise in precision medicine and health disparities research among African Americans and Latinos/Hispanics and leverages unique assets and resources to develop novel methods and approaches to advance population health. [Consuelo Wilkins

Undiagnosed Diseases Network (UDN). The Vanderbilt Center for Undiagnosed Diseases is a site in NHGRI’s UDN that brings together clinical and research experts to solve challenging medical mysteries. The Vanderbilt UDN clinical site has an emphasis on heritable heart and lung diseases, as well as pharmacogenetic, arrhythmia and autonomic disorders in adults, and metabolic and other genetic problems in children. [John PhillipsJohn Newman, Rizwan Hamid

Programs in Drug Hypersensitivity. Research programs in drug hypersensitivity exist under the umbrella of the PGRN, and  related clinical activities take place through the Center for Drug Safety and Immunology, which provides expert care for individuals with all types of allergic reactions to medicines. The clinic's mission is to eliminate uncertainty for individuals with potential drug allergies and to improve the safety and effectiveness of drug therapy. [Elizabeth Phillips]

Phenome-Wide Association Studies (PheWAS) analyze many phenotypes compared to a single genetic variant (or other attribute). This method was originally described using electronic medical record (EMR) data from the Vanderbilt DNA biobank, BioVU, but can also be applied to other richly phenotyped sets. The site provides a catalog of PheWAS results. [Lisa Bastarache]

LawSeq This 3-year R01 based at the University of Minnesota and Vanderbilt University has convened a national Working Group of top legal and scientific experts to analyze current U.S. federal and state law, regulation, and guidance on translational genomics, and to generate consensus recommendations on what the law should be, to optimize successful translation of genomics into clinical use. The law underlying genomics is currently unclear, poorly understood, and contested. As this technology is now poised for widespread clinical integration, legal scholars need to help build the required legal foundation. Work is especially needed in 4 domains, the law of: Liability, Access to genomic results, Quality of sequencing and interpretation, and the overarching Framework clarifying when research rules versus clinical rules apply in translational genomics. [Ellen Wright Clayton]

GetPreCiSe: (Genetic Privacy and Identity in Community Settings): An NIH Center of Excellence in Ethics Research. We founded the center based on the observation that the debate about genetic privacy and identity has been based (a) on an incomplete understanding of the influences on the actors involved in genomics research and translation and (b) on possible, rather than probable, risks.  Moreover, research has typically focused on what individuals say, effectively minimizing the role of community and social influences in shaping attitudes toward privacy. GetPreCiSe integrates a diverse group of interdisciplinary scholars and community advisors to collaborate and develop a more comprehensive understanding of these worries and the factors that influence them, to model actual risks to privacy and identity, all of  which will be used to inform policy. [Brad Malin, Ellen Wright Clayton]