Past Event

The Promise and Challenge of Precision Medicine: An Interdisciplinary Conversation

February 18, 2016
5:15 PM - 8:30 PM
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Columbia University, Low Memorial Library, 535 West 116th Street, New York, NY 10027

Precision Medicine is an approach to disease and treatment that takes into account an individual’s genetic makeup, environment, and life history to better tailor medical care for each patient.  The promise of this type of personalized healthcare is significant, ranging from early-intervention and prevention to reduced side effects, improved outcomes, and lower mortality.  Yet, important questions surround the implementation of precision medicine on a large scale, in regards to the collection and use of personal data, patient rights, disparities in access to care, and the benefits and expense of customized procedures, among others.

This symposium and panel will open with a biomedical-focused introduction to precision medicine by David Goldstein, followed by responses from Columbia faculty from five different disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.  These respondents will highlight some of the big questions surrounding precision medicine concerning the ethical, social, economic, and legal implications of advancing this research, and demonstrate how research in their fields can address these questions. The event will conclude with a panel discussion and presentation from Jonathan Metzl, who will share some cross-disciplinary insights from the Center for Medicine, Health, and Society at Vanderbilt University.

David Goldstein, PhD, Professor of genetics and development and Director of the Institute for Genomic Medicine, Columbia University
Jonathan Metzl, MD, PhD, Frederick B. Rentschler II Professor of Sociology and Psychiatry, and the Director of the Center for Medicine, Health, and Society, Vanderbilt University

Rachel Adams, PhD, Professor of English and American Studies and Director of the Center for the Study of Social Difference, Columbia University
Ronald Bayer, PhD, Professor of Sociomedical Sciences,  Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health
Yaniv Erlich , PhD, Assistant professor of Computer Science, Columbia University
Gil Eyal, PhD, Professor and Chair of Sociology, Columbia University
Kathryn Tabb, PhD, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Columbia University

Alondra Nelson, PhD, Dean of Social Science and Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies, Columbia University

Free and open to the public, but registration is required via Eventbrite.