To Columbia systems biologist Andrea Califano, precision medicine is a way to make medical care more personalized and individualized. “We are starting to realize that perhaps the ‘one mold fits all’ is not the right approach,” says Dr. Califano, the Clyde’56 and Helen Wu Professor of Chemical Biology (in Biomedical Informatics and the Institute for Cancer Genetics), professor of biochemistry & molecular biophysics, and chair of the Department of Systems Biology at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons.
In this video interview, Dr. Califano discusses precision medicine, a Columbia University special initiative and a new focus nationwide since President Obama announced plans in his State of the Union for a new federal research focus on precision medicine.
Precision medicine, says Dr. Califano, acknowledges that disease presents differently in individuals. “Even when we give disease the same name, for example, breast cancer, we find tremendous differences. The specific mutation, for example, is very different, the way the tumor interacts with the environment is very different.”