Tag Archives: treatments

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PCH forms pediatric genomics institute

Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong joined Phoenix Children’s Hospital to announce the formation of a visionary institute, The Chan Soon-Shiong Children’s Precision Medicine Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

The new partnership brings together the medical expertise and resources of renowned surgeon and healthcare technology visionary Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD, with Phoenix Children’s commitment to genomic research and access to a large pediatric patient base. The institute will transform the pediatric health care landscape by applying state-of-the-art genomic and proteomic technology to identify precision diagnoses, treatments and cures for young patients facing serious illnesses.

“Our goal is to bring genomics research to the forefront of pediatrics,” said Robert L. Meyer, president and CEO of Phoenix Children’s Hospital. “With Dr. Soon-Shiong’s transformative technology implemented at Phoenix Children’s, the realization of all children having access to life-saving precision medicine becomes one step closer.”

Soon-Shiong is the founder of Nantworks, largely dedicated to applying genomic and proteomic analysis studies to translate diagnoses and cures more quickly and accurately. To date, his efforts have been focused on the adult population. Through this institute, Phoenix Children’s will serve as the exclusive national hub for pediatric genomic research and translational precision medicine.

“Phoenix Children’s is unique among children’s hospitals,” noted Dr. Soon-Shiong. “The leadership and the board of this hospital are leading their peers in health care by executing on an operational principle of patient centered 21st century care. They have attracted talented researchers and clinical scientists and have demonstrated their ability to advance a vision for precision medicine in pediatrics.”

At the crux of this revolutionary undertaking is super computing cloud based technology and artificial intelligence. Phoenix Children’s will be home to one of the few dedicated supercomputers in the country, which can deliver genomic sequencing and analysis more quickly than ever before. Appropriate patients undergo full genome sequencing and proteomics analysis in an unprecedented seven days.

“Current genome sequencing takes time,” added Meyer. “And that’s something that these patients don’t have. The mission is to develop innovative and effective diagnostics and therapies for young patients, while empowering physicians with the most up-to-date research and therapeutic models available, all to deliver potentially life-saving treatments.”

Often, existing treatment protocols lack efficacy for patients; this new genomic analysis will alter that dynamic through specific and targeted therapeutic remedies based on the individual’s unique genetic makeup. In time, Soon-Shiong’s technology will lead to a comprehensive genomic database platform, from which a shared information consortium will be integrated into a global diagnosis, treatment, and result-based methodology. A vast bank of pediatric patient data will be generated via a consortium of children’s hospitals, led by Phoenix Children’s.

“The Chan Soon-Shiong Children’s Precision Medicine Institute will fundamentally alter the way pediatric health care is delivered around the world,” said Meyer.

Dr. Oddo

New Researcher Joins Banner Sun Health Institute

Dr. Salvatore Oddo, a leader in the development of genetically-engineered mouse models and their use in the study of Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders, will join the research team at the Banner Sun Health Research Institute (BSHRI) as a Senior Scientist and as an Associate Professor in the Department of Basic Medical Sciences at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix. Oddo comes to Arizona from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, where he served as an assistant professor in the physiology department. He starts at BSHRI on July 1.

Oddo and his colleagues continue to develop genetically-modified mouse models and study them in the effort to clarify some of the molecular and cellular disease mechanisms responsible for Alzheimer’s disease, to discover new treatments and to help test some of the treatments that are being considered for evaluation in clinical trials. Using the “triple transgenic mouse model” that he and his colleagues first developed at the University of California, Irvine, they have already made a number of pioneering contributions to the field.

His arrival marks the first of several joint recruitments that are planned between Banner and the medical college to advance the scientific fight against Alzheimer’s disease. It also provides an opportunity to expand the resources and collaborations involved in the Arizona Alzheimer’s Consortium, the nation’s leading model of statewide collaboration in Alzheimer’s research. While Oddo’s lab will be based at BSHRI, he will work closely with his new colleagues in the medical college and other organizations in the Consortium.

“I am extremely proud to become part of a fantastic Alzheimer’s disease research team and to establish my laboratory at the Banner Sun Health Research Institute,” Oddo said. “I look forward to developing new and stimulating collaborations with the faculty to identify new therapeutic targets for this terrible disorder.”

Oddo, who earned his undergraduate degree in molecular biology from the University of Catania, Italy and his graduate degree in Neurobiology of Learning and Memory from the University of California, Irvine, has served as an assistant researcher at the University of California Irvine’s department of neurobiology and behavior. He is moving from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio where currently he is an assistant professor in the department of physiology.

“This is the first and critical step in what will be an extremely robust partnership between the Banner Sun Health Research Institute and our college,” said Stuart D. Flynn, MD, dean of the UA College of Medicine – Phoenix. “Dr. Oddo is playing an important role in the research of Alzheimer’s disease, of critical importance as we address an aging population in Arizona and beyond.”

“We are pleased to welcome someone with Dr. Oddo’s scientific caliber and extraordinary productivity,” said Marwan Sabbagh, Director of the Banner Sun Health Research Institute. “Dr. Oddo is a valuable addition to what is already a world-class team. We look forward to work ahead.”